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

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

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:59 pm

The Man Who Didn’t Belong

Author: ArchAngel1973 (in collaboration with xmag)

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Banner by: Tanya7496


Disclaimer: Characters and plot lines that appeared in the series, the books, and the concept of Roswell are not mine. Belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, etc, etc…

Pairing: M&M

Rating: Mature

Summary: Based on a challenge by xmag. Post-Graduation, character death, angst… but, CANDY!

Author’s note 1: There will be two endings to this story. The readers won’t be asked to vote for one of the other, they’ll just choose which one they prefer to end the fic. There will probably be a sequel to one of the endings.

Author’s note 2: We checked and were told that this fic could be posted on the Canon board, but if any of the mods feel that it should be moved to the AU with Aliens board, we’re fine with that.


Link to the trailer made by April:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwHIqfXB ... annel_page


Part 1

The hot wind blew through the streets of Los Angeles, whipping up stray bits of trash and threatening to knock over everything in its path. The palm trees that lined the sidewalks on either side of the streets bowed to the will of the angry winds, their pliant trunks giving but refusing to break. There were a few people rushing from their places of employment, some tightly holding onto briefcases and others doing their best to protect their eyes from the sand being tossed around wildly.

Michael Guerin unlocked the drivers’ side door of his Range Rover before turning to lean against it, his predatory gaze following a tall redhead as she tried valiantly to keep her short skirt from being pushed up any higher on her perfectly toned thighs. He whistled appreciatively when the wind won the battle despite the woman’s best efforts and her skirt flew up, revealing even more tanned, toned skin. He smirked and shook his head, saluting with his right hand when her angry gaze zeroed in on him and she flipped him off.

She hurled an insult at him that was quickly whisked away on the wind but he only shrugged insolently and continued to watch her as she stalked to the parking garage next to the building she had recently exited.

“Hey, Guerin!”

He ran a hand through his short hair as he turned to look at the man standing out of the worst of the wind, holding the door of the agency open. Sam Novak had just been hired and the kid hadn’t been around long enough to figure out that Michael wasn’t going to be his new best friend. “Whatcha want, Novak?”

“Wanna grab a beer?”

He shook his head at the younger man’s enthusiastic question and slid behind the wheel, slamming the door shut without bothering to answer. He didn’t know why Marcos had decided to hire someone who had no experience whatsoever in their line of work. He was eager to learn, but Michael didn’t have the patience or tolerance to put up with him, and he had no intention of expending any effort in that direction either.

He guided the truck out of the city, heading into the valley and the sixteen acres of seclusion that belonged to him. The Santa Ana’s had arrived earlier that week, the constant winds hot, dry, and unrelenting. Several counties over wildfires raged out of control, defying every attempt made to extinguish them. When darkness fell he would be able to stand on his back porch and see the orange glow from the distant fires reflected against the night sky.

Not that he cared enough to look, he thought as he turned onto the gravel road that led to his house. Darkness was beginning to fall as he reached up to activate the garage door opener and pulled into the open slot. The door creaked as it lowered once more and he made a mental note to do something about it before it drove him crazy.

He turned his head to look at the motorcycle parked to the right of the truck and nodded to himself as he climbed out and went into the house. He had been working non-stop for the past couple of months and he needed a break; he needed to hit the open road and get away from everything for a while.

Silence greeted him and he looked around as soon as the lights were switched on, making sure that everything was just as he had left it. Satisfied that no one had been there he tossed his keys on the counter and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket, dropping it beside the ring of keys. The kitchen housed all stainless steel appliances that were bordered by counters topped with imported black marble. Everything in the house was state-of-the-art and the highest quality that money could buy, not because he used most of it, but because it was the best available.

Michael had grown up with nothing, not even knowing who his parents were or where he had come from. Until he was seventeen the only thing he had known was the orphanage, living off of the charity of others, and forced to survive the brutality doled out by others who were bigger and stronger than him. He had sworn that when he made it out he would make something of himself and he would never have to rely on anyone for anything ever again.

He wandered through the house and finally made his way into the bathroom off of his bedroom, turning the water on and adjusting the temperature. Once it was hot enough to satisfy him he went back to the kitchen and opened the freezer, digging around until he found the frozen pizza with the toppings he wanted. He placed the pizza on a sheet of aluminum foil and frowned down at it for several moments before going to the refrigerator and digging around for a jar of jalapenos and the shaker of crushed red peppers. After placing copious amounts of the jalapenos and peppers on the frozen pizza he slid it into the oven and went to take a shower.

He took a quick shower, letting the hot water pound some of the tension from his tall frame. He had informed Marcos that he was taking time off and the man had simply waved him off, well aware that he would return to work when he felt like it. That was the advantage of basically working for yourself, he thought as he toweled off.

Marcos owned the agency but he contracted the work out so if Michael chose to turn a job down there were no repercussions. He pulled on a pair of sweatpants and padded barefoot into the kitchen to check on the pizza, determining that it needed a few more minutes. A quick glance at the clock let him know that the basketball game would be starting right about the time his dinner would be ready.

In the living room he picked up the remote and aimed it at the 50-inch flat-screen television mounted to the wall. He flipped through the sports channels until he located the one he wanted, watching the commentary until the commercials started. He rushed back into the kitchen to slide the pizza on a cutting board and cut it into slices. Grabbing a beer out of the refrigerator, he set it on one corner of the cutting board and carried the whole thing into the living room.

He placed the cutting board on the coffee table just as the game started and he snarled at the television when the opposing team took control of the ball after the tip-off. He sat down on the floor with his back against the sofa, long legs stretched out underneath the table as he reached for the first slice of pizza.

He slouched down against the couch and alternated between hurling insults at the screen when the opposing team had the ball and cheering loudly when his team scored. He was annoyed when his team lost by two points at the last second and he shook his head at the reporter interviewing the player responsible for the winning shot.

Before long his eyes started to slide closed and his head dropped back to rest on the cushions. He was exhausted after his last job and his body was not going to be put off any longer; sleep claimed him despite the uncomfortable position he was in.

He awoke violently several hours later, falling to the side and clutching at his chest when he felt pain slicing through his lungs, stealing his breath. He tried uselessly to push himself up but his right arm felt like lead and he couldn’t move it. He tried desperately to draw air into his lungs and he was certain he could taste the coppery tang of blood.

What the hell was going on? A wave of nausea rolled over him and he fought against it, focusing instead on trying to understand what was happening to him. His lungs were burning and his vision was beginning to go dark at the edges but no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t get up off of the floor.

The pain suddenly stopped, ending just as quickly as it had started, and he pulled in deep, gulping breaths. His heart felt like it was going to pound right out of his chest and he moved experimentally as he slowly sat up, testing his body out to see if any of the pain remained. He pulled himself up onto the couch and fell back on it, trying to calm his breathing and rubbing one hand over his chest to assure himself that he was all right.

He gradually gained control of his breathing and his heart rate leveled out leaving him confused about what had happened. In all of his life he had never experienced pain like that and he hoped to never experience it again. Before long the mysterious phantom pains were forgotten as the sleep his body craved claimed him once more and he lost his grasp on the disturbing sensations that had brutally assaulted his body.

The hours slowly passed and he automatically awoke just as dawn broke over the desert, his body programmed to rise with the sun regardless of what else was going on in his life. He rolled to his feet and went into his bedroom to change into a pair of shorts and his running shoes before stepping out onto the back deck. He warmed up with repetitions of pushups and sit-ups, his workout regimented and precise to get the most out of every single movement. He surveyed the landscape as he stretched some more, running in place for a minute before setting out on a five-mile run through his property.

His body was conditioned for the activity, his muscles honed from years of hard, physical work. Making the five-mile run was effortless despite the hot winds that hadn’t let up overnight and sweat ran along his flesh in salty rivulets, following the contours of his body. When he completed the circuit he bent over, hands braced on his legs right above his knees, pulling the hot, dry air into his lungs. As soon as his pulse had returned to normal he straightened up and went inside to take a shower.

After a breakfast of scrambled eggs smothered with hot peppers and onions and a side of toast he straightened the house up and walked outside, heading for the building back behind the house. The Santa Ana’s ruffled his short hair and kicked sand up, the tiny grains beating against the bare flesh of his arms, but despite the dust and sand that was being whipped around him his stride didn’t change.

He unlocked the wide doors and pushed them open, flipping the light switch as he stepped inside. When he had purchased the property the building had been set up to house livestock and one of the first things he had done was to completely gut the inside and redo it so he could use it as a mechanic shop. His gaze moved over the half dozen motorcycles in different stages of completion and he ran his hand over the tank of the one closest to him.

He had discovered his passion for restoring vintage motorcycles in junior high when the new director at the orphanage had taken an interest in him. Tom Gifford had seen the anger and hostility that Michael didn’t even try to hide and he had dedicated an enormous amount of time to redirecting those emotions and channeling them into something positive.

The overhead lights reflected off of a set of chrome exhaust pipes, drawing his gaze to the table on his left. He had gotten new parts in before his last job and he had barely had time to uncrate them before the call had come in, requesting his services. He wandered around the motorcycles for several minutes, waiting to see which one was going to hold his attention.

He finally settled on the 1971 Harley Davidson Electraglide that sat near the south wall, the engine disassembled and strewn out across the worktable. He crossed the room and turned on the radio that sat on one of the shelves, the unit already tuned to the jazz station that he preferred. He walked over to the upright toolbox, unlocking it and selecting a handful of tools that he carried over to the worktable.

For the next few hours he lost himself in the tedious work that went into restoring the vintage motorcycle, forgetting about everything else. He pulled one of the boxes down off of a shelf and pulled a knife from the sheath on his belt, slicing through the tape that held the top closed.

The knife clattered to the tabletop when he experienced the strangest sensation; a feeling of loss, soul-deep and cutting straight to the center of his being washed over him and his hands curled around the edge of the table to keep himself upright. He didn’t understand why the feelings were assaulting him or where they were coming from and he slowly straightened up when they began to dissipate. It had to be stress-related, he thought. Either that or he was starting to buy into the myths that surrounded the Santa Ana’s. He had to get away for a while, to clear his head, and get rid of all of these weird feelings.

He cursed out loud when he cut his knuckles on a jagged edge of the engine part that he was pulling out of a box and as he leaned over to look at the wound he noticed a crack in one of the seals on the part.

“Son of a bitch!” he muttered, picking the part up and examining it closely. He hadn’t planned to go anywhere, but if he wanted to finish this step he was going to have to. At least he wouldn’t have to go into L.A.; he could stop at one of the smaller towns outside of the large city. He made a list of supplies that were running low and shoved it in his pocket before locking up and heading back to the house.

*****

Michael parked the Range Rover and grabbed the box sitting in the passengers’ seat before climbing out and walking up to the automotive parts store. He made it a point to ignore the people that were everywhere and stepped through the first set of automatic doors.

“Mister! Hey, mister!”

He looked down when a small pair of hands circled his wrist and tugged, causing his watch to dig into his flesh. “What?” he snapped, pulling his hand free.

Blond curls bounced as the little girl shifted from one foot to the other. “Ya wanna buy some cookies? It’s for a real good cause.” She pointed to her left where a group of little girls in uniforms were clustered around a table piled high with brightly colored boxes of cookies. Their shrill, high-pitched voices grated on his nerves and he shifted the box he was holding to a more comfortable position as he ignored the kid and continued on his way into the store.

At the counter he lifted the part out and showed the clerk the defective seal, demanding a replacement at no charge. When the teenager scurried into the back Michael wandered off to pick up the items on his list. He dropped a case of oil and a box of bulbs into a cart along with a handful of spark plugs before moving over a couple of aisles to look at the tools.

Once the clerk had located a replacement for the defective part and the rest of his purchases had been paid for, Michael loaded everything back into the cart and pushed it out through the first set of automatic doors.

“Hey, mister, you sure you don’t wanna buy some cookies?”

“Get lost, kid,” he growled.

“C’mon,” she said, her smile revealing a wide gap where she was missing two front teeth.

“Julie, sweetie, he said no.”

His irritated gaze swung to the woman who had rushed over to retrieve the little girl.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized with a smile. “It’s her first year in the group and she’s very excited about – “

“Do I look like I care? Do you people even consider that the only reason anyone buys your damn product is so you’ll leave them alone?”

“Sir, I don’t think there’s any reason to – “

“I don’t give a fuck what you think, lady.” He narrowed his eyes when she gasped and quickly covered the little girls’ ears. “The fact is you’re extorting money from people and you’re usin’ your brats to do it.”

“It helps build their self-esteem – “

“Sellin’ cookies that can be bought at a grocery store for a third of the price you charge helps build self-esteem?” He shook his head and his dark eyes raked over her ample form coldly. “If it’s so great for self-esteem why aren’t you and all the other parents out sellin’ cookies? Because you know that people are more likely to pay these outrageous prices if the product is bein’ offered by kids… it’s a marketing ploy. People will buy this shit from a bunch of bratty little kids a helluva lot faster than they will from a bunch of overweight, middle-aged mothers.”

“You… you… you bastard!” she sputtered indignantly. “I’ll bet you kick puppies for fun.”

“Maybe I do.” He straightened up and glanced around in interest. “Why? You got one over there?” He would never kick a puppy but she didn’t need to know that.

She gasped, horrified, and hurried away, dragging the little girl with her.

Michael shook his head and crossed the parking lot to unload his purchases. He had liked it much better when the automotive store had been the only thing on the block. Now there were shops lined up on both sides of it and there were people everywhere.

He pulled out of the parking lot and followed the main street out to the old highway, hanging a right and driving several miles out of his way so he could get an order of the spiciest hot wings in the county. He shifted restlessly, trying to ignore the sudden feeling that was making his skin feel like it was crawling.

As he parked and stepped out of his vehicle his thoughts were drawn back to the night before and the dream that had woke him up. Unconsciously his hand came up to rub his chest; he wished he could remember what he had been dreaming about. What kind of scenarios had his mind conjured up that were strong enough to turn mental images into physical pain?

“Will you look at what the Santa Ana’s blew in,” the woman behind the counter called out as he stepped inside the dimly lit bar.

Michael smirked and nodded in greeting as he settled on one of the bar stools at the counter. He held up his forefinger when she quirked an eyebrow in question and he leaned to one side to grab a handful of nuts from the bowl on his right.

She pulled an imported, non-alcoholic beer from the cooler under the counter, popped the cap off, and slid it along the surface into his waiting hand. “The usual?” she asked and yelled an order out to the cook in the back when Michael nodded.

Jordan Sykes had known the man at the counter for close to five years; he was a loner who liked his beer cold, his food hot, and his women even hotter. Most people who became regulars at the bar talked about themselves, jobs, families, and a million other things, but this man was an enigma. Michael Guerin didn’t talk much and when he did talk it was never about anything personal.

They had gotten comfortable with each other, or as comfortable as he was able to get with anyone, and she could tell that he was on the prowl, his predatory gaze scanning the women who had started coming in since the last time he had stopped by.

“So, what’s new?” he asked, swinging around to look at her.

She leaned on the counter and met his gaze evenly. “Got a few newcomers that’ll fit your preferences, but keep your hands off the new waitress.”

“She hot?”

“Hot and taken.”

Michael nodded at the warning tone in her voice and took a long drink from the bottle in his hand before tipping the neck in her direction. “She yours?”

“Um-hmm.” She poured herself a shot and tossed it back, satisfied that he wouldn’t cross her and make a play for her partner. “Got a blond that comes in every night around eight that’ll interest you, definitely the no-strings type.”

Michael glanced at his watch. “Eight o’clock, huh?” Hell, he could have dinner, sucker several losers out of a weeks’ worth of wages at the pool table, get laid, and be home before ten-thirty. “Tonight might be her lucky night.”

“You’re such a prick,” she muttered with a grin.

“I know.”

Jordan shook her head as she moved to the other end of the counter to serve a couple of newcomers. Michael was full of himself, but from the stories she’d overheard from the women he’d bedded he had reason to be. Their only complaint was that he never asked for a repeat performance. She knew he didn’t date, he never took the women back to his place, and he always made sure they knew up-front that he had no interest in them beyond having sex. He didn’t stick around for the morning after, he didn’t call the next day, and he never remembered their names, but that didn’t stop the women from coming by to see if he was interested in hooking up again.

She glanced back at him and rolled her eyes when she saw him staring at a couple of women who had just entered the bar. He was such a horny bastard, she thought as she mixed a couple of drinks and placed them on the counter in front of the customers. She leaned against the counter, catching his eye and shaking her head when his gaze zeroed in on one of the waitresses.

He raised the bottle in his right hand and tipped it in her direction before turning his attention back to the brunette sitting on the stool beside him.

“My money’s on the brunette,” Cal muttered as he passed her on his way to deliver Michael’s dinner.

“I’ve got fifty that says it’ll be Miss Eight O’clock,” she challenged.

“You’re on.”

Michael leaned against the counter in a comfortable sprawl, his eyes roving over the brunette who had approached him. She talked too much and there were about a dozen other, more interesting things she could be doing with her mouth, but she just wasn’t doing it for him. She was built in all the right places, but she wasn’t the flavor of the night; he was just enjoying the view while he waited for the right piece of ass to enter his line of sight.

He tried to shake off the feeling of emptiness that he hadn’t yet been able to get rid of, and he sincerely hoped that some time away from everything would take care of it. He tuned the woman’s voice out and started planning a road trip, mentally preparing a list of things he needed to do before leaving and what he needed to pack. Maybe a trip to Santa Fe would help; he hadn’t been there in a few years and he was sure the women there were still hotter than hell.
Last edited by ArchAngel1973 on Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:55 pm, edited 99 times in total.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 2 - 2/16

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:51 am

Cassie – Hmm, Maria will come in the picture soon. But maybe not the way you expect it.

Spacegirl23 – What does Michael do for a living? That’s something which should be answered clearly in part 8. We wonder if you will like the answer, though. And Maria being miss “8 o’clock”? No.

April -
I'm glad you two decided to post this over here. It's a great fic and should be read by MANY!

-April

Aaaah, thank you. It’s going to be a long ride since 50 parts have already been written.

Flamehair -
So Michael doesn't know he is an alien? And the pain he felt - did Max die? I'm almost certain one of the waitresses is Maria

Interesting review. Hmmm, to answer your questions, first, yes he knows he is an alien, no, the waitress isn’t Maria, and hmm, the pain… it could be.

Nibbles2 – Thanks for reading.


Part 2

The weather in New Mexico was uncomfortably warm for October and despite the threat of the thunderstorms the newscasters had been predicting Michael had insisted on going out. Maria walked beside him, listening to the sounds of nature around them in the absence of conversation. She had long ago gotten used to his silences, knowing that it was just part of his personality and he would break it when he was ready to talk.

They had left home nearly six months ago, running from the Special Unit of the F.B.I. who had descended upon their hometown with the intention of taking all six of them into custody. When things had calmed down and they had felt that they had finally shaken the agents trailing them they had settled down four hours from Roswell. It was as close as they dared to get to their families, afraid that something would tip off the F.B.I. and the chase would begin all over again.

They had agreed that it was too dangerous for all of them to settle in the same area so they had written the names of three different cities on strips of paper and tossed them in a hat. She and Michael had lucked out and gotten a small town in New Mexico. Liz and Max had pulled the name of a small town in Colorado, and Kyle and Isabel had gotten some small town in Texas. They were four hours from each other, safely hidden away in three different states.

Leaving everything that they knew behind hadn't been easy and there had been times in the beginning when she was sure she wasn't going to be able to stay on the run with Michael. They had fought constantly at first, with each other and any of the others who would engage them. It had been their way of dealing with the stress put on them by their situation, but one night they had come close to losing Michael when the F.B.I. had gotten too close and all of the arguing and fighting had come to an end.

The decision to stop running had been a joint one and it had been the best thing for them to do. She loved her best friend dearly, but if she had been forced to ride around with her and Max much longer she had been certain she was going to go insane. The couple hadn't been married that long and now that they could be together without worrying about Tess or their destiny they were worse than they had been during their whole tragic high school romance.

Isabel and Kyle were the odd couple, thrown together because they were each on their own. Isabel had married Jesse, a young lawyer in her father's firm, but he had stayed behind in Roswell when they had been forced to flee for their lives. She shook her head as her thoughts drifted back to Alex Whitman, one of her best friends and Isabel's true love. Alex wouldn't have let her go on the run, hiding from the F.B.I. and doing whatever was necessary to survive, without him. He wouldn't have stayed behind, but unfortunately, he had been killed by Tess in her quest to translate the stupid destiny book. She was convinced that Isabel had gotten involved with Jesse and married him because she was trying to avoid dealing with the loss of Alex.

Kyle had been unlucky enough to fall for Tess before they had discovered her traitorous actions and he hadn't been in any other relationships since that disaster. He had done his best to avoid having feelings for anyone else since then but Maria suspected that he wasn't nearly as unaware of Isabel as he would have everyone believe. She had wondered for a while if the two of them had turned to each other as a way to deal with the loneliness, but she had finally decided that if they had she couldn't blame them.

Tess had returned with the Granolith and hidden it in the cave where it had originally been hidden before her subsequent capture by the military. They had heard that she had died at the hands of her captors, but none of them had felt anything but relief that she was no longer a threat to them.

Her gaze finally settled on the man walking beside her, her eyes tracing over his beloved features. Michael was still difficult, he was still moody, but he had grown over the past few years and she couldn't imagine her life without him in it. He had been there for her no matter what was going on in their lives and she knew he would protect her with everything he had.

They had settled into their lives as well as they could, knowing that at any time they might have to pick up and run again. She trusted him to be there, to watch over her, and to keep her safe. More than that though, she loved him, and she no longer questioned whether or not he loved her because she knew that he did.

They lived in a small house outside of town, away from prying eyes and nosy questions. The house was miles away from their closest neighbor and they both felt that it was safer that way. Michael had been picky about the location, and she had lost count of how many houses they had looked at before he had been satisfied with this one. It was secluded and it gave him a place to work through his nervous energy and it allowed her the freedom to know he wasn't going to do something with his powers and risk being seen by someone other than her.

"What're you thinkin' about?" Michael asked, glancing at her when he felt her gaze on him.

"Just glad that we're together and that we're safe for the moment."

He grunted and turned to follow the trail that led out past the old riverbed that had been dry for many years. "This isn't the life that I ever imagined for you."

Maria sighed. She hated it when he fell into this contemplative mood, where he wondered if he had done the wrong thing by allowing her to go with him when they started running. "Do you really think I would've stayed if you had left me in Roswell?" she asked, shaking her head. "You know better than that; I would've gone after you and I would've found you, Michael."

He nodded, accepting the inevitability of her statement. "I suppose you're right."

"I'm always right." Her fingers tightened on his hand as she stopped, forcing him to stop with her or drag her behind him. "What's got you thinking like this again?"

"People at work, I guess. I was listenin' to 'em at lunch last night, talkin' about all the things they wanted to do when they were younger and how they'd finally just accepted things weren't gonna change after workin' at the factory for a while." He shrugged. "You're better than that, Maria. You deserve more than workin' at a damn factory in some crappy little town."

They both worked at the factory but they had different shifts so most days they had a couple of hours together at the most. It was rare that they got a day off together, and an entire weekend was unheard of, so she didn't want him to spend the time berating himself because life hadn't turned out the way they had imagined it would.

"Michael, it's not ideal, but if the only other option was not having you in my life, I'll gladly do this for the rest of my life. It's gonna get better."

"Yeah?"

"Hey, the second shift supervisor said they've got an opening coming up next month for third shift. That'll put us on the same shift so we'll have more time together."

He nodded. "Next month, huh?"

"Next month," she affirmed. "We'll be able to spend more time together once we get on the same shift." She nudged him with her arm as they started to walk again. "We'll be able to get away to see the others more often." She knew he missed their friends though he was reluctant to admit it.

"More interested in spendin' some quality time with you," he said, looking up when he heard the first clap of thunder roll across the sky. "Guess that storm's movin' in after all; let's head back before it gets started."

They walked along the trail, hurrying in an effort to beat the rain that the clouds were threatening to release at any moment. The first fat droplets of rain began to fall just as they ran through the front door and slammed it shut behind them.

"Y'know what we haven't done in too long?" he asked, leaning up against the closed door and pulling her to him.

"What?"

"Spent an entire day in bed." He lowered his head to kiss her, groaning when she melted against him and returned the kiss with every bit of passion she possessed.

"Now there's an offer that's too good to pass up." She smiled up at him as she stripped his shirt from him, tossing it on the floor beside them.

"No fair," he muttered teasingly. "You're overdressed."

"Guess I'd better do something about that." Her smile was wicked as she slowly eased each button through its respective buttonhole, leaving the panels hanging open as she leaned forward to press against him.

"You are so cheatin'." His hands settled at her waist and he lifted her up, turning to press her back against the door when her legs locked around his waist. "Do you have any idea what you do to me?" he growled.

Maria buried her hands in his unruly hair and dragged his mouth back to hers. "I know exactly what I do to you," she said, the words muffled against his lips. It had taken so long to get him to a point where he was this comfortable with her and with himself. "You gonna spend all day talking or you gonna take me to bed?"

Michael chuckled at her impatient tone and removed her shirt, dipping his head to press a kiss against the swell of her breast before turning to carry her down the hall to their bedroom. "I think you're addicted to sex," he laughed.

"I'm addicted to sex with you," she corrected him, pressing one hand against the wall to keep him from bumping into it since he was incapable of carrying her and walking a straight line at the same time. "You've ruined me for any other man."

A self-satisfied smirk lit up his features as he crossed the threshold to their bedroom. "I've got that same addiction, so I hope you don't expect an apology."

"You're addicted to sex with yourself?" She giggled at his expression. "I knew working different shifts had seriously cut into our time together, but I wasn't aware things had gotten to that point."

Michael groaned when she twisted his words around intentionally but he couldn't help the laughter that escaped him in response to her teasing expression. She was the one person who could make him smile no matter what the situation was and she always managed to find a way to make him believe that anything was possible.

"I think you've been spending too much time alone here lately."

He lifted one eyebrow in question.

"We're both half-naked, in our bedroom, and we're still standing here talking." She smiled brightly when he carried her over to the bed and turned, falling back on the mattress with her on top of him. "That's more like it."

*****

Maria enjoyed being the first to wake up early the next morning and she propped herself up on one elbow as she watched Michael sleeping so peacefully. He rarely slept so well, plagued by nightmares where he was faced with the abusive foster father who had beaten him on a regular basis during his childhood, or where one or more of them had been captured and/or killed by their F.B.I. pursuers.

They had spent the day in bed, making love until they had fallen into an exhausted sleep late the night before. Most of the time they were doing good if they were able to manage sex a few times a week between their hectic schedules, which made rare days like the one before so special. They had one more day to spend together and Michael had insisted that she not let him sleep late and waste their time.

He shifted, his body automatically seeking hers out even in sleep and he settled down just as soon as she moved closer to him. She watched him for a while longer before getting up to shower and go start breakfast, knowing that he wouldn't be far behind.

Less than an hour later Michael joined her in the kitchen, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her. "Mornin'," he greeted gruffly as he rasped his stubbled chin against the sensitive skin of her neck. "How're you feelin'?"

"Sore in all the right places," she said, turning in his arms to kiss him good morning.

"It's been a while hasn't it?" He released her when she motioned back towards the stove and breakfast. "I'll set the table."

They discussed different things over breakfast and then cleaned up before heading out for a walk. The air smelled fresh and clean after the rain the day before and the cooler air felt good against their skin. They talked about everything and nothing as they carefully stepped over limbs brought down by the storm. There were more trees in this part of New Mexico and it had taken some time to get used to seeing so much green around them.

"We should go see Max and Liz soon," Maria said as they stepped around a small tree that had been knocked over by the strong winds.

"Thanksgiving's comin' up here pretty soon; maybe we can get together then. Y'know, all six of us; we'd probably have to meet somewhere neutral, but we could do it."

Maria nodded when he agreed, a bit surprised that he hadn't tried to talk her out of it.

"Hey, do you hear that?" he asked, drawing her out of her thoughts.

"What?"

"The river! It's been dry for years!"

Maria rushed to keep up with him when he ran along the trail towards the rocky overhang that looked down over the riverbed. "Michael, I don't see what the big deal is; it's just runoff after the storm. It'll be dried up again in a few days."

"You've gotta admit that's pretty impressive, Maria." Michael stood on the overhang looking down at the water rushing between the banks of the shallow riverbed. "I mean, it's been dry for years and suddenly it's - "

Maria's eyes widened when the ground beneath his feet suddenly gave out and he fell through empty air to land at the bottom of the ravine with a sickening sound. "Michael!" she screamed as she ran to what was left of the overhang to look down. His body was lying at an angle that wasn't normal and she could see a pool of blood creeping from beneath his body to stain the rocky ground.

*****

After nearly seven hours on the road Michael was parched and ready to stop for the night. He had left L.A. around ten o'clock that morning, intending to make a pit stop at the Lucky 7, a bar on the west side of a small town outside of Flagstaff. The bar was in the perfect location; across the street from a cheap hotel and next door to a small restaurant that served the best breakfast anywhere in the state of Arizona.

He parked the Harley-Davidson in the space directly in front of the bar, completely disregarding the sign indicating that the space was reserved for handicapped persons. He snorted derisively as he dismounted, pulling a multi-tool out of his pocket and removing the two screws that held the sign in place. He tossed the small metal sign on the ground, face-down, and stepped on it for good measure as he walked up to the front door of the bar.

He stepped inside, not bothering to hold the door for the people entering behind him. He scanned the people scattered around the room, some in groups and some alone, frowning when he noticed that there was no shortage of ugly women.

"Hey, honey."

Michael turned his head to look at the woman who had just spoken and shook his head as he gave her the once-over. Her voice was the only thing she had going for her and that wasn't enough to interest his dick. "Go back to your cave." He walked off before she had the opportunity to speak up in her defense. Not that there was a defense for anything that ugly, he thought irritably. He stepped up to the bar and motioned for the bartender standing at the other end to join him.

Gus D'Angelo was a short, stocky Italian man who had served in the same unit with the man rudely gesturing for him to hurry up. They had spent several months together in a war-torn Africa, doing things that no one should ever be asked to do. Michael Guerin was not typical in any sense of the word; he was an asshole and he was proud of it. He was hot-tempered and cold-blooded, he didn't care what anyone thought, and he said what he was thinking without regard for anyone's feelings.

"What're you doin' in my part of the world, Guerin?" he asked, pulling out one of the imported non-alcoholic beers the man preferred.

"Just passin' through," Michael answered, taking a long drink from the ice-cold bottle. "I was intendin' to stop overnight, get laid, have dinner, crash for a few hours, and be on my way." He pointed around the bottle clutched in his right hand. "What the hell is this, Gus? You've got so many ugly bitches in here that my dick's havin' second thoughts - "

"Keep it down, will ya? You're gonna run all the payin' customers off." Gus didn't know why he hadn't tossed the other man out and told him to never come back when he had first discovered the Lucky 7. "Change up your itinerary and come back in a couple of hours."

"You gonna have somethin' better in here later?" He looked around in disgust. There wasn't a single woman in the place that he'd fuck, not even if he was drunk and blindfolded.

Gus kept his voice low as he spoke. "It's a little bit early for the good-lookin' ones to be out an' about. Come back after six."

"Fine."

"Hey, you can't walk outta here with that," he yelled when the other man headed for the door.

"Call a cop," Michael muttered, moving through the people milling around. Stepping out into the sunlight he slid his sunglasses back on and started to cross the street.

"Let me guess, this would be your motorcycle."

Michael paused, standing in the middle of the lane as he turned to face the woman who had spoken. His hidden gaze raked over the well-endowed police officer, noting that she was curved in all the right places. Of course, the best-looking piece of ass in this crappy little town would be a cop. "What if it is? You gonna write me a ticket? Arrest me?" He glanced over his shoulder when a car swerved to miss him and he flipped them off before turning his attention back to her.

"You do realize parking here is a serious offense."

"Parkin' here was a convenience and one that I don't think should be reserved for people simply because they're handicapped. The fact that you're not naked, ridin' my dick, and screamin' my name…" He grinned wolfishly. "Now that is a serious offense, but one we can easily remedy."

"Yeah, let's remedy that," she said, pulling a pair of handcuffs out and letting them dangle from her fingertips as she sashayed over to him.

"That's what I'm talkin' about." Michael was reaching for the handcuffs when she suddenly grabbed his arm, twisted it, and slammed him face-first up against the closest vehicle. The bottle of beer fell to the ground and shattered as he lost his grip on it, and the handcuffs pinched his wrists when she closed them as tightly as possible. "What the fuck are you doin'?"

"We're goin' for a little ride, smartass."

Three hours later Michael was ready to explode from sheer boredom. Officer Bitch had tossed him in an empty cell in the equally empty holding area and apparently forgotten the entire booking process. He didn't know what kind of law enforcement this was supposed to be, but he was already mentally putting his lawsuit together.

"Had time to cool down yet?"

"So, Officer Bitch has returned." He turned away from the wall, scowl set firmly in place. "What's up with the - " His words lodged in his throat when he got a good look at the woman in front of him. She was no longer wearing a uniform; she had changed into a red dress that fit her shapely form like a second skin and flattered every curve. It also revealed that she wasn't wearing a damn thing under it. He watched her as she closed the distance between them and the only thing separating them was the bars of his cell. "What're you doin'?"

"You," she answered throatily.

"And you couldn't do that without arrestin' me?"

"Baby, you're not the type to sit around and wait for a woman, and I could tell you're not gonna be around past morning."

"So you arrested me?"

"I didn't arrest you. I just put you in a cage so you wouldn't waste this on someone who probably wouldn't have appreciated it anyway." Her grin was predatory as she reached between the bars and cupped his crotch.

"I think this constitutes sexual harassment."

"And I think you're pissed because you're used to doing the harassing." She shook her head, amused by his dark expression. "Don't worry, no one's stepping all over your Alpha male toes," she assured him as she unlocked the door and slid it open.

Michael grabbed her arm and hauled her into the cell, pinning her against the bars and kissing her roughly as he worked his right leg between her thighs. "Let's get one thing straight," he growled. "I don't do bondage unless you wanna be on the receiving end, I don't do that whole mornin' after shit, and it's highly doubtful that I'll remember your name after tonight."

"I could care less whether you remember my name or not." Her eyes rolled back in her head when he shoved the low neckline of her dress aside to take a rosy nipple into his mouth. "The only thing I'm interested in is whether or not you're as good as you think you are."

"We can do hard and fast right here and now, or we can take some time and you can experience multiple orgasms that'll blow your mind, your choice."

"Why don't we start with hard and fast," she whispered huskily, blindly reaching for his belt and releasing it. "We've got all night for the rest of it."

This was the way it was supposed to go down, Michael thought. No strings, no interest in anything but gratifying sex, and she was just as aggressive as he was.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 3a - 2/23

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:26 am

Flamehair – Don’t worry, you’re supposed to be confused. But it won’t last, the answers will come soon. Hmmm, in part 5/6, you’ll understand what’s going on.

Cassie -

I must admit I'm confused too. Two Michael's or different time lines is all that I've come up with.


You’re not far from the truth. There’s something definitely alien going on.

Girlafraid – Thanks for reading.

Spacegirl23 -

But I'm getting confused too. What's up with 2 Michaels? My theory is that there's a 3rd Michael (Rath's the 2nd Michael).


Interesting, so you think that this Michael could be in fact… Rath? He is as ruthless as Rath was, good point.

DeDe PR -

am confused like everyone but.... when michael fell he lost his memory???

can't wait 2 see the others and the encounter with Ria or is Ria the police woman??


The answer to the first question is no, and to the second question is no.

or is the Antar Rath that come out after the accident or is New york Rath??


The real Rath, the original one being the one to survive the fall, you mean? Or dupe Rath taking Michael’s identity? Aaaaahhhh, really good ideas.


Author’s Note: After reading this part there are some of you will quite possibly hate us and be ready to stop reading this story, but give it a chance. Have faith in us, as all is not what it seems, and remember that we’re both 100% Candies!!

Part 3a

Maria scanned the area, her eyes wildly searching for a way to get down to Michael. He hadn’t moved and he hadn’t responded to her panicked screams, and she was terrified by the amount of blood that was creeping along the rocks next to his body. She was going to have to go back to find a safe way down to the bottom of the ravine and she was losing precious minutes.

She ran along the trail that led back to the house, stopping every few hundred feet to move near the edge of the overhang and look for a way down. She had covered nearly a quarter of a mile by the time she found a place that wasn’t too steep to navigate and she hurried to begin the climb down. Halfway down she lost her footing and slid the rest of the way to the bottom, ignoring the cuts and scrapes on her arms as she pushed herself to her feet and ran back along the river towards Michael.

She slid to a stop when she reached him, suddenly terrified of what she was going to find. His breathing was labored, but the rasping sound meant that he was alive. She fell to her knees beside him, her hands framing his face as she called his name, her tone urgent.

Receiving no response from him she started to run her hands over his body, searching for the injuries that were responsible for his unconscious state. Her hands paused over his chest when she realized that his ribcage was caved in on his left side.

“Oh, my God,” she whispered hoarsely. “Michael…” She placed her hands on his cheeks and gently turned his face to her. “Michael, I need you to wake up.” His face was unmarked with the exception of fresh bruising but he still didn’t respond to her voice. She carefully eased his body up so she could see the injury that was causing him to bleed all over the place. She couldn’t see the wound and she was scared to move him too much, terrified that she would only hurt him worse than he already was.

“M’ria…” His voice was slurred and weak, but she rejoiced when she heard it. She eased him back down and moved up closer to his head so he could see her. “M’ria, what happened? Can’t feel anything but this pain in my chest.”

“Michael…” Fear gripped her when she realized that his gaze was unfocused and glassy.

He tried to raise his right arm to cover his mouth when he felt the tickle in his throat but he couldn’t seem to make it move. He coughed weakly and cried out when the pain in his chest became unbearable.

Maria’s eyes widened when she saw the blood beginning to trickle down from one corner of his mouth. “Michael, Michael, baby, focus on me, please,” she begged, her eyes locked on his. He was trying to focus on her, she could see the effort he was making, but before long he lost the fight and the darkness pulled him under again. “God, no, don’t do this to me, Michael.” She released her hold on him as she ran her hands over his pockets, searching for the prepaid cell phone he carried everywhere.

Each of the couples had one prepaid cell phone in the case of an emergency and as her fingers finally closed on it she prayed Max would answer.

Max Evans reached for the cell phone apprehensively. A call on this phone could only mean bad news and his mind was already running through the list of possibilities as he answered it. “Hello?” He froze when he heard the hysterical voice coming from the other end and he hurried to try and calm her down. “Maria? Maria, you’ve gotta calm down, I can’t understand you.”

The only thing he understood was Michael’s name, the rest of her words were running together and were so garbled that he couldn’t distinguish them from each other. He grabbed the keys to the car he shared with his wife and locked up before running out of the house. He had to get to Liz; she was the only one who stood a chance of calming Maria down enough to get a coherent explanation out of her.

Maria shifted around after pulling off the sweatshirt she had pulled on over her tee shirt that morning, covering Michael with it and cradling his head in her lap. She had finally gotten off the phone with Liz, who had been able to decipher her tearful monologue, but only after receiving confirmation that she and Max were already on their way. They’re four hours away, her mind taunted. They’ll never get here in time.

“They will get here,” she swore, pressing a kiss to Michael’s forehead. “Nothing else is acceptable.”

He groaned quietly and his eyes suddenly shot open as he tried to draw in gasping breaths, his left hand ineffectively clawing at his chest as more blood trailed from the corner of his mouth. He was getting weaker before her very eyes and the fact that she was able to hold him down by pinning his shoulders to the ground testified to his weakness.

“You have to stay still, Michael.” She caressed his face, trying in vain to keep his gaze focused on her. “Listen to me… please,” she whispered, her voice cracking on the plea. “I think your ribs are broken and I’m pretty sure you’ve punctured one of your lungs; if you move you’re only gonna make it worse.”

“M’ria… can’t feel… how long…?”

Maria struggled to follow his ramblings as her gaze moved down his body to his legs. He hadn’t moved them, hadn’t even tried to, and she was afraid to try to straighten them out for fear of causing more harm. No feeling more than likely indicated a spinal injury and any movement could hurt him even more.

She glanced at her watch, surprised to see that nearly two hours had passed since he had fallen from the overhang. “Max will be here soon, Michael, we just have to wait for him, okay?” She had to keep him calm, which meant she had to keep her emotions under control so he couldn’t see how close she was to losing it.

“Night… how long?”

Night? What was he… Oh, God, no! Please, no! Maria hurried back up so that she was kneeling next to his shoulders. Swallowing hard she held one hand in front of his eyes and moved it back and forth. Her heart sank in her chest when he continued to stare straight ahead. She forced the tears back and settled down with his head in her lap once more. “It’s been dark for a couple of hours, but Max will be here soon to make things right again.”

“Can’t feel…”

Maria could feel her heart shredding when his confused rambling went back to the paralysis in his legs. “It’ll be okay, Michael. Don’t think about your legs, please? As soon as Max gets here he’ll fix you up as good as new and then he’ll tell you what an idiot you are for standing so close to the edge of that damned overhang.”

“No, M’ria…” His left hand flailed as he searched for hers and she quickly wrapped her hand around his. His hand dropped weakly to his chest and he sighed raggedly. “Don’ un’erstan’,” he slurred. “Can’ feel you…”

“Can’t feel me? No, Michael, you’re holding my hand. I’m right here, baby.” Now she was rambling and she couldn’t seem to stop herself. “I’m not going anywhere, Michael, I’m right here. Do you hear me?”

His breathing was getting worse, more labored, by the minute, and there wasn’t anything she could do to help him. The blood beneath his body had slowed considerably, but at the same time the trail of blood at the corner of his mouth was seeping out at an alarming rate.

“M’ria?” he called for her, his voice loud as his hand clenched tightly around hers.

“Right here, Michael.”

“Can’ feel you.”

She suddenly realized what he was saying; he wasn’t talking about not being able to feel his legs, he was talking about their connection. She swallowed the panic that set in with a vengeance and she choked back a sob. “Michael, listen to me, baby. You’ve gotta stay with me, do you hear me? You’ve gotta hold on. Please? Max will be here soon, I promise.”

“N’ver leave you, M’ria.”

Silence suddenly fell over them and she stared at him, her own breath freezing in her chest. “Michael?” She leaned over him, searching for any sign that he was still alive and not finding any. He had stopped breathing, she couldn’t locate a pulse, and when she placed her head against his chest she couldn’t find his heartbeat. She sat up and her hands knotted in his shirt as she shook him violently. “Michael! Michael, you can’t go like this… you can’t leave me like this! You promised!” She screamed at his lifeless body, begged and pleaded with him to come back to her, until she had no strength left in her body and she slumped over him as heart-wrenching sobs were ripped from her very soul.

*****

An hour later a pair of hands reached out to gently extract Maria from Michael’s lifeless body and she fought against them wildly, screaming as she struggled to maintain her hold on the person who had been her reason for living.

“Maria, you’ve gotta let him go,” Max said, his voice thick with pain at the sight of his best friend lying there, unmoving. “C’mon, honey, let him go.”

“I’ll take her, Max,” Kyle offered, pulling her to her feet and wrapping his arms around her tightly when she started to beat her small fists against his chest. He held her while watching Max attempt to revive Michael using his healing powers, not realizing he was holding his breath until the other man leaned back on his heels and shook his head.

“Is there anything else we can do?” Liz asked, her concerned gaze bouncing between her husband and her best friend.

“I can’t help him,” Max said, feeling that he had failed all of them. “He’s been gone too long. The only thing we can do is bury him.”

“No!” Maria screamed. “You have to fix this! I promised him you’d fix it!”

“Maria, that was a bad fall and his injuries were extensive; I don’t know that I could’ve healed him even if we had gotten here in time.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

“We can’t bury him,” Isabel said, speaking up for the first time. She moved closer to Michael’s body and knelt down beside it as tears slipped silently down her face. “Not here.”

“Not anywhere!” Maria broke free of Kyle’s arms and paced restlessly, knowing she was being irrational and not caring. Her reason for living, for breathing, for everything, was lying dead on the ground, while everyone around him discussed what they should do with his body. God, if she could only go back and stop him from being so damned impulsive and running out to look over that stupid overhang. “Oh, my God!” She dried the tears from her face and forced her emotions back under control as she knelt down beside him and pressed a kiss to his cold lips. “I know how to fix this,” she whispered.

“Maria?” Isabel’s tone was wary, unsure of what type of approach to take with the woman who was suddenly, eerily calm.

“We have to take him to the Granolith,” Maria announced suddenly. “It’s capable of time travel, it protected the pods for years before you hatched, and it can bring him back.” She nodded decisively. “We have to take him back to the cave.”

The other four looked at each other, considering what she was saying. Maria was distraught over her loss and she was switching emotional gears in a very erratic manner, but none of them were ready to contradict her belief that the Granolith could solve the problem.

Max nodded when Liz caught his eye, silent communication passing between them with nothing more than a look. “We’ll take him to the cave,” he said decisively.

*****

The decision to take Michael to the cave proved to be the last decisive act Max had been able to make. As he had eased Michael’s body down on the floor of the van with Kyle’s help the reality of the situation had suddenly hit him and he would surely have fallen to his knees if the other man hadn’t grabbed him and stabilized him against the side of the vehicle.

“Max, you can’t fall apart right now,” Kyle insisted. “There’s too much at stake here. We’ve gotta hold it together for the girls, man.” But he knew as soon as he leaned forward to get a good look at him that Max was lost and he wasn’t going to be able to make any decisions for the group. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do,” he said, taking that weight onto his own shoulders. “I’ll lead the way and Isabel will ride with me. I think it’d be a bad idea to separate Liz and Maria at this point, and there’s no way you’re gonna separate Maria from Michael.”

Max turned his head slowly, his gaze locked on the woman who was sitting on the floor next to Michael’s body, his head cradled in her lap as she spoke to him quietly. If he hadn’t known any better he would’ve thought the man lying there was simply napping, but he knew his best friend wasn’t going to be waking from this sleep.

“Max, buddy, I learned a long time ago that where you guys and this whole alien mess are concerned just about anything is possible. We’ve seen too much and lived through too much to give up now. So let’s go to the cave and see what happens.”

“I’ll follow you. Yeah, that’s a… that’s a good idea.” Max nodded, suddenly galvanized into action, and he hurried around to the drivers’ side, climbing in and starting the engine.

Kyle stopped Liz when she moved past him to step up into the van. “Liz?”

Liz swallowed hard and turned her head to look at him. “Yeah?”

“Are you gonna be able to keep an eye on both of them?” he asked. She had two people to watch over, the two most important people in her world, and he knew it wasn’t going to be easy to see both of them in so much pain.

“I can handle them,” Liz answered, praying she was right about that.

Kyle shut the door once she was safely inside and ran over to his truck when he saw that Isabel was already inside, waiting for him. God, when was it going to stop? How much did they have to suffer before bad things stopped happening? He started the truck and pulled out of the driveway, heading towards the highway that would take them as close to home as they had been in way too long. His thoughts eventually turned to the reason that they couldn’t go home and from there it wasn’t long before his mind settled on the tragedy that was sending them back to where it had all began.

He had never really interacted with Michael, even before he had known about the guy being an alien. Michael had seemed dangerous before he had known about the powers he possessed, and after he knew the truth about him, Kyle had been certain that it only made him more dangerous. He had been shocked to learn that Maria was dating the guy, but after a while he had realized that it made a crazy kind of sense. She wasn’t afraid of anything, and she was just as weird as Michael… weirder, maybe.

They had been on the road for a couple of months, dodging the F.B.I. Special Unit before he and Michael had connected. Once he had gotten to know the other man he had slowly started to change his opinion about him. Michael understood Kyle’s love of sports, he liked motorcycles and sports cars, and he enjoyed watching attractive women at every possible opportunity despite the fact that he was clearly taken.

They had bonded over their common interests and he could easily remember how much it always pissed off Maria and Isabel when they had really gotten into one of their heated debates over hot chicks, cool cars, or sports. He had never understood why Maria had fallen so hard for Michael or why she put up with him until the day they had been sitting on a park bench in Santa Monica, debating which of the bikini-clad women was the hottest.

The girls had been doing laundry in the laundromat across the street and Max was with them because… well, because he was still a newlywed and his brains were scrambled. Kyle hoped he would eventually grow out of that stage; the guy was really starting to cause a problem. The girls were beginning to think he and Michael needed to do things like offer to do the laundry, or compliment them, or other stupid things that Max was doing.

“Okay, the brunette in front of the deli,” Kyle pointed out.

“Nah, dude, you’re way off. The redhead in the thong, she’s definitely hotter.”

Kyle shook his head. “You can’t be serious, man!” He shook his head when he realized that his companion wasn’t going to be swayed in his opinion. “Whatever. Wonder what the chances are that Isabel could be talked into wearing one of those?”

Michael just snorted and turned his attention towards the ocean.

“Y’know, Maria’s pretty hot too,” Kyle mused, almost to himself. “I’ll bet in that get-up she’d be – “ He felt the man sitting at the other end of the bench tense up and he turned his head to look at him; in that instant he knew he had made a huge mistake and crossed a line that was never meant to be crossed.

Michael’s expression had been beyond pissed off and his eyes had narrowed dangerously as he spoke, his voice controlled, but laced with anger. “I’m only gonna say this once; Maria’s not some chick in a magazine and she’s not one of these chicks parading around out here, so don’t talk about her or treat her like she is, got it?”

Kyle swallowed hard. “Got it. Sorry.”

Nothing else had ever been said about the incident, but in a few short sentences he had seen a little of what Maria saw in Michael. He had made his feelings for his girlfriend clear without making romantic declarations or spouting bits of poetry – characteristics that were better suited to Max. Michael had simply cut through all the bull and gone straight to the heart of the matter without any sort of fanfare.


He couldn’t believe that the big alien was dead.

He glanced at Isabel as he led the way out to the highway, knowing that Michael’s accident was dredging up memories and emotions that she kept buried deep inside in order to avoid dealing with them.

He knew probably better than anyone else that she had never gotten over losing Alex. In the time that they had been living together he had gotten used to her silences, her moods, and her detached behavior. She didn’t sleep much at night unless she had exhausted herself and just couldn’t go any further. He had realized that it was in those late hours of the night when she would wander the apartment aimlessly that she felt safe enough to let her barriers down and he could see the old Isabel resurface.

He had caught her talking to the empty rooms on more than one occasion and when he had questioned her about it recently she had confided in him, explaining that talking to Alex helped. Under normal circumstances he would have cracked a joke about that, but after the time they had spent together in their cramped apartment he could see the difference in her on those nights and he had left it alone.

Watching her now he could see the obvious signs of tension, the cracks in the perfect façade she presented to the world, and he wondered if this would be too much for her. In the past few months they had gotten close enough that he didn’t think twice about reaching over to take her hand, the gesture intended to let her know she wasn’t alone.

It was happening all over again. After losing Alex she tried different things to make herself forget, but anything that had accomplished that feat had only been a temporary fix. She had jumped into a relationship with the first guy she had met, thinking that it would dull the pain that had become her constant companion. But it hadn’t dulled the pain, it had only added guilt into the mix, and she felt like she had betrayed Alex by getting involved with Jesse and then marrying him. What would happen to Maria if the Granolith couldn’t bring Michael back?

When Alex had been taken from them Isabel had been surrounded by family and friends, she had been at home where she could fall apart, knowing that someone would be there to catch her. Maria didn’t have that luxury; they were cut off from their families, they lived four hours from each other to maintain their safety, and she didn’t even have her best friend close by to help her through what would come after. She could feel the hysteria rising within her and she cast about for something to take her mind off of what was going on.

She stared out through the dirty windshield, absently noticing that Kyle still hadn’t washed the truck even though she had reminded him at least half a dozen times over the past week. “How many times do I have to tell you to wash this damn truck? God, it’s not like it’s a difficult task.”

Kyle considered letting her comments go unchallenged, but he knew she was looking for a fight, something to take her mind off of Michael. “I’m not the only one who drives the truck, Princess.”

“I’d think you’d want the damn thing to be clean considering your many dates,” she snarled, grateful that he was going along with her.

“Why? I don’t date them because they’re into my truck.”

“Your bedroom is across the hall from mine, Kyle; I think it’s safe to say that I’m aware of why you date them.” She glanced at the side mirror, seeing the van following behind them, and quickly forced her gaze back to the front. “And since we’re on the subject, your standards seem to be getting lower.”

“What?”

“That woman you brought home on Friday night? Skank, Kyle, complete skank.”

“Before you start judgin’ who I’m sleepin’ with, let me remind you of the guy you came home with last weekend… you do remember him, don’t you?”

Isabel rolled her eyes. “I am not discussing my dates with you.”

“So you can talk about mine but I can’t talk about yours?” He shook his head. “Since when do we pull punches with each other? The guy was a complete loser and he ate my cereal.”

“God, Kyle, you’ve been bitching about that for a week! Move on to something else already.”

Kyle’s hand gripped the steering wheel tightly as he glanced at Isabel, thankful that she was bickering with him instead of getting lost in her thoughts. There were just too many bad paths that she could go down after seeing Michael like that and they all led back to that dark place that it had taken so long for her to find her way out of after losing Alex. He jumped back into the conversation when she snapped off another irritated remark and he threw one back at her to keep her mind occupied.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 3b - 3/2

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:41 am

DeDe PR – The part was really angsty, huh? And no, Rath isn’t playing a part in this story.

Flamehair – No, Kyle and Isabel aren’t a couple. They are roommates, friends, but not lovers.

Mary mary – Thanks for reading. Updates every Monday.

Spacegirl23 – Yes, it was terrifying for Maria to wait for Max, while holding a dying Michael in her arms.

Cassie – The Granolith will do something unexpected.


Part 3b

In the van Max was staring at the truck in front of him, focusing on maintaining an exact distance between the vehicles. He felt like he was going to lose his mind and he didn’t know how to even begin dealing with losing Michael. He refused to let Maria’s misguided beliefs get his hopes up because he had no misconceptions about the powers that the Granolith possessed.

He had felt the emptiness in Michael’s body when he had tried to connect with him, the lack of essence that had made him alive. It was as if his very soul was gone and nothing remained but his cold, dead body. He hadn’t been able to save his best friend, his brother, the only other male hybrid like him. The letters on the license plate in front of him suddenly became blurry and he reached up to rub his eyes, brushing away the tears that wouldn’t stop falling.

Michael’s intense presence had been a constant in his life for as long as he could remember, and now that he had been ripped away from them Max felt like he had lost the ability to breathe. What about Maria? his conscience prodded. What would happen to her once she was forced to accept that Michael was gone? He knew, after the summer they had spent hanging out a couple of years earlier, that when Maria DeLuca let herself love someone the way she loved Michael, it was intense and it was for the rest of her life. There was no halfway when she fell in love. She went into it just like she did anything else – with her whole heart and without holding anything back. She would never get over losing Michael, he thought. Never. Would she go on living or would she just give up?

What about Liz? he wondered. What would happen to her if she lost Maria? She was one of the strongest women he had ever known, but she had barely survived losing Alex; what would happen if she lost Maria too? No one was that strong. If anything happened to Maria, Liz would lose it. Their friendship, their bond, was too strong, and Liz just wouldn’t be the same without Maria around.

He glanced in the rearview mirror, reaching up to readjust it so he could check on his wife. He could barely make out their shadows in the darkness, relying on what little light was provided by the headlights reflecting off of the truck in front of them.

Liz rubbed Maria’s back, wishing she knew what to say in this situation. Her best friend was convinced that the Granolith was going to make things right again, fix it so that Michael wasn’t dead, but Liz wasn’t convinced that it was the answer. She was worried about how Maria was going to handle it if her plan backfired and the trip was for nothing. She watched the other woman as she carefully cradled Michael’s head in her lap, rocking him gently as she spoke to him in such a soft voice.

Maria loved the surly, ill-mannered alien and if the Granolith couldn’t save Michael, it was going to destroy her. She knew what it would do to her to if the unthinkable happened and she ever lost Max. She had felt him die when she was in Vermont, but a miracle had happened and she had gotten him back. Now Maria was going through a similar tragedy, but Liz had her doubts that such a miracle could happen twice, even with the hybrids and the mystery surrounding their existences.

“Maria…”

The blond slowly raised her head to look at her friend in the near-darkness. Her fingers continued to comb through his spiked hair, the contact necessary to her sanity. “He loves me, y’know.” It was a statement, not a question. “I know most people don’t understand him, they don’t know what I see in him, but he loves me.”

Her gaze dropped back down to him and her fingers traced over his features, ignoring the fact that his flesh was so cold. “Even when he was…” she swallowed with difficulty, “leaving, when he thought he was leaving me for good, he promised that he would never leave me.” Tears spilled over and tracked down her cheeks. “He struggled to keep breathing long enough to tell me that… he promised.”

She folded her body over him, her forehead pressed against his as she fought against the wave of desolation that she could feel trying to take hold of her. “It’ll be okay, Michael, the Granolith will fix everything,” she whispered.

Liz realized that she fell into that category of people Maria had been describing as she watched them; she had never understood Michael, and she had never known what it was that Maria saw in him. After months of being on the run with them, living in cramped quarters, and listening to their constant bickering, she had been ready to dump him on Maria’s behalf. He was unbearable, rude, sarcastic, and she had never once seen him do a single thing to deserve his girlfriend’s love and respect.

Their relationship had been strange, it had been filled with intensity, and it had certainly lacked the fairy tale quality, but now that it was too late Liz could see that she had never recognized what was right in front of her eyes. In his own way, nonverbal, gruff, and abrasive, Michael had loved Maria with a depth that defied explanation; mere words had never been enough to convey his feelings and he had known that. His last words… his last breath, had been for Maria, to reassure her that she wouldn’t be alone.

Liz glanced up when she felt the van slowing and then turning. She could tell that they had left the highway, the bumpy ride indicating that they were traveling off-road now. She made her way up to the front, resting on her knees beside her husband. His knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. She could see the tears silently tracking down his cheeks and his pain was so close to the surface that she could feel it as if it were her own.

“Hey,” she said softly, “how’re you holding up?”

Max shook his head and used his shoulder to dry the right side of his face. “Do you think this is gonna work?” he asked, his voice rough.

“No. I think she doesn’t know how to deal with this and she’s desperate to come up with any possible solution that will put off the inevitable.” She rubbed his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Max.”

He nodded but kept his gaze glued to the truck in front of him as it bounced through the desert. He couldn’t look at her; if he did he was going to lose his tenuous grasp on his control and he would fall apart. He took his right hand off of the steering wheel long enough to point out the outcropping of rocks looming up ahead. The cave where the Granolith was hidden was located within the towering boulders that were now just minutes away.

“I’ll let Maria know.”

Kyle parked in front of the mountainous rock formation and stared at it in silence for several minutes. He pushed the button on the side of his watch to illuminate the face so he could read the time. 3:37am. Next to him, Isabel had opened the door and was staring out into the night. She had fallen silent after arguing with him for the first couple of hours, but she had managed to hold herself together so far. He climbed out of the truck and stretched; his body was stiff from sitting in one position for so many hours and he could feel his spine popping into place.

Once Max pulled up beside them he went to help them carry Michael’s body up the path that led to the secret entrance. Near the entrance Max waved his hand over the place where the sensor was hidden and after a moment a handprint became visible and a slab of the rock moved inward and slid back to allow them to enter. Inside the cave they gently placed his body on the ground and they all stood back as Maria slowly approached the mysterious object that was the Granolith. She walked around it several times, watching it for any indication that it was aware of their presence.

“How do you turn it on?” she asked, the question not aimed at any one specific person.

“It was only active once when the key was inserted.”

Maria glanced at Max when he spoke, and forced her own voice to remain level in response to his ragged tone; she couldn’t afford to fall apart now. “And we don’t have that key?” He shook his head and she turned back to the machine, staring at it as she considered her next action. “I don’t know how you work or how you communicate, but I need you to speak to me.” The only sound in the chamber was the hum that emanated from the general vicinity of the Granolith. She walked up to it and placed her hand against it, barely controlling the urge to just curl up in a fetal position on the ground and let go. “You have to help him,” she whispered, leaning forward and placing her forehead against the smooth surface. It wasn’t cool as she had expected, instead it was warm to the touch and she could feel the vibrations that pulsed through it.

“Maria, it isn’t gonna speak to you,” Isabel said. “I’ve talked to it before, remember? It didn’t respond to me either.” She kept her gaze focused on the Granolith, irrationally hating it for everything that it represented and blaming it for everything that she had lost. “It’s just a stupid alien device or something; it’s not a sentient being with a conscience or the ability to – “

“The ability to interact with lesser beings is indeed within my capabilities,” a mechanical voice rumbled. It seemed to come from all around them and not just from the device at the center of the chamber that was now glowing brightly. “Why have you come here?”

Maria took a couple of steps back and stared at it in awe. It could understand her and answer her. To her knowledge, and according to Isabel’s own statement, it had never done that in the past. Why? Oh, right, because everything had to be so complicated where the aliens were concerned! But maybe it knew what they were there for, why they had come to seek it out. Maybe it knew somehow that it had to save Michael… or Rath, as the Granolith probably knew him. It was a question of life or death, so maybe that was why it had started to speak. “Granolith, you have to help us,” she said insistently. “There was an accident and Michael… he was… he…” Oh, God, she couldn’t say it! If she said it, it would be true! “He was hurt, badly, and – “

“You have brought him to me for what reason?”

Maria couldn’t believe the Granolith’s controlled responses. She hadn’t expected it to be all warm and fuzzy or anything, but it was unemotional to the point of being cold. “I want you to fix it, to… to fix him. You’re capable of many things and it’s your job to watch over the hybrids.”

“You have come with a request that cannot be granted.” The response was dispassionate. “Once the hybrid ceases to exist there is no possibility of generating new life within it.”

“Okay, fine, I’m not asking you to do that. But, you’re capable of time travel.”

“It is within my abilities.”

“Then tell me how to do that, how to go back in time to prevent this from happening.”

“Your request cannot be granted.”

Maria’s patience was quickly coming to an end. “Why not? If you possess the ability, why would you refuse to help him? He is – “

“Altering the events of the past in order to preserve a single being is not allowed. For many years the sacred laws have existed to prevent those who would change the past, present, or future for their own gain.”

“You’re refusing to help him? I seem to remember an occasion where you allowed time travel, so why are you refusing it now?” she demanded, shocked. She wasn’t going to let the Granolith get away with this answer. She had heard all about time travel from Liz.

“The creators must be obeyed. Your request cannot and will not be granted.”

“What? No! Come back here, we’re not finished! You’ve got to – “ Maria stopped when Liz put her hand on her shoulder, silently holding her and trying to make her realize that the Granolith had stopped interacting with her. The light that had been glowing so brightly while the Granolith was speaking dimmed suddenly, leaving only the dull green glow behind. Maria stared at the device, shell-shocked, unable to comprehend what it meant and unwilling to accept what it had said. She reached blindly for Liz’s hand, desperately seeking strength in her best friend as she stood there, sightlessly staring at the powerful alien device, carefully hidden in a small cave near Roswell, New Mexico.

“Why doesn’t it want to use time travel to save Michael?” she questioned in a lost voice. “It helped you and Max in the other timeline, remember? So, why is it refusing to help Michael? After everything he’s been through… Hank, his miserable existence with that abusive animal, how can the Granolith do this? It can’t just leave things this way… it can’t just let Michael stay dead! It’s not fair, Liz, it’s not FAIR!!!”

Liz held Maria closer, trying her best not to break down and cry. She had an idea why the Granolith had refused to use its power to allow time travel. As it had said, it was against the rules, but in that first timeline Future Max had mentioned that she and Serena had modified the Granolith for time travel. Maybe they hadn’t modified it only for that purpose, but they had bent the rules to use it for time travel. But the truth was she had no idea where to begin to alter the device. She hadn’t been able to do it on her own in the first timeline, and Serena didn’t exist in this one. Or she hadn’t met her. Either way, she had no idea who or where she was.

Kyle looked around at his friends, his family, and knew that he was going to have to be the one to bring up the difficult, but necessary task that needed to be completed. It wasn’t going to get any easier the longer they put it off, but he needed to do it in a way that would keep Maria from losing it. They had to be far away from Roswell, well on their way back to their new homes before that could be allowed to happen.

“Maria.” He moved closer to her but refrained from taking her in his arms and offering comfort. “Maria, it’ll be daylight in less than two hours, and you know we can’t risk bein’ seen around here. Maybe this…” he waved at the Granolith, “thing, whatever it is, has the answers, maybe it holds the key to getting Michael back, but it’s not givin’ it up right now.” He crouched down a little to meet her gaze, easily reading the denial in her green eyes. “It’s already admitted that it’s capable of time travel, right? Well, we can come back when we have more time, convince it to do what needs to be done, but we’ve got to…” He felt it like a punch to the gut when recognition settled into her expression.

“You want to bury him. Here? In the desert? He’ll be alone here, Kyle! You want me to just leave him here? I won’t even be able to – “

Kyle looked at her with pity in his eyes. She was talking about Michael as if he were in a coma, not dead. Maybe that was why she hadn’t totally lost it yet; it’s what was holding her together. “Maria, we can always come back and try to convince this damn thing to cooperate, but we’re runnin’ outta time here. You know it’s not safe here, and Michael would be havin’ a fit if he knew everyone was here, risking discovery and capture just to bring him back.”

Maria turned her head to look at Michael’s body, swallowing with difficulty as she nodded. “You’re right; that would piss him off. I just… I need a few minutes, Kyle.”

He nodded in understanding. “We’ll wait outside.” He glanced at Liz, seeing that she had been listening to the entire conversation. Max and Isabel both looked shell-shocked and neither of them said a word as she gently herded them out of the chamber.

“Kyle?”

He turned back to Maria, his body halfway through the entrance. “Yeah?”

“You know that spot on the other side of the rocks? The shady spot by those scraggly little bushy things?” She cleared her throat when he nodded. “Michael liked that spot.”

“I’ll take care of it.” He was gone then, leaving her alone with Michael’s body.

“You never could make things easy, could you?” she murmured, dropping down beside Michael. Her fingers tangled in his soft hair and her heart thudded painfully in her chest as her other hand trailed down the side of his face and she registered just how icy his skin felt. “We’ve beat the odds before, Michael, and we’ll beat them this time too. We’ve never been the type of people to just sit back and let life happen.” She chuckled tearfully. “I’d like to think I was a little more diplomatic than you, but we made things happen, didn’t we?” She pressed a lingering kiss to his lips. “We’re not finished, Spaceboy, and no matter what it takes, I promise you I’ll find a way to fix this.”

“Maria?”

She wiped the stray tears from her eyes and turned her head to look at Kyle.

“We’re ready.”

“So are we.” She kissed Michael one more time before standing up.

Half an hour later she watched as the last of the sand was smoothed out over the unmarked grave. She forced her emotions further down, terrified of what would happen if she released them. She had to hold it together; she had made Michael a promise and she had every intention of keeping it. This was only temporary, she reminded herself.

Her head snapped up when she heard a choking sound and tears suddenly clouded her vision when she saw Max drop the shovel in his hand and fall to his knees. Liz hurried to his side, kneeling in front of him and taking him in her arms. She cradled his shaking body, her hands rubbing his back in a soothing gesture while she whispered words of comfort through her own tears.

Not far away Isabel was watching her brother and Kyle was watching her as she began to shut down and close herself off.

Maria took it all in and felt her emotions building up into an uncontrollable mass and she knew she had to get away or she wasn’t going to be able to keep it in any longer. Her gaze turned up towards the rocks that jutted out against the sky that was beginning to lighten, hinting at the pending sunrise.

Her emotions began to mutate from sadness, loss, hurt, and emptiness, to anger that was burning a hole in her chest and without conscious thought she began walking back to the cave.

*****

Michael stared at his reflection in the mirror over the sink, annoyed that he couldn’t recall the nightmare that had interrupted his sleep. Nightmares weren’t a normal occurrence for him and having one that had created the unfamiliar feeling of fear while the images remained elusive pissed him off. He didn’t like experiencing things that he couldn’t remember later, and the fact that fear had been involved bothered him more than he cared to admit.

After the night he’d had he should’ve been able to come back to his hotel room and sleep straight through what was left of the night. They had gone back to her house for a very long night and he was incredibly pleased with his performance. She… what was her name anyway? He frowned at his reflection for a moment before shrugging. He didn’t give a rats’ ass what her name was. Whatever her name was, she had been even more aggressive in bed than she had been at the jail and he’d had his hands full with her.

Generally, sex of that nature left him pleasantly worn out and once he’d ditched whatever lucky bitch had benefited from his sexual prowess, and he was back in his own bed he enjoyed the sex-induced coma that inevitably came afterwards.

But that luxury had been denied him this time and even his morning run hadn’t taken the edge off. Knowing he was no closer to an answer he pushed away from the mirror and packed his things back into his saddlebags, left the key on the nightstand, and walked outside to his motorcycle.

He looked up at the pre-dawn sky before checking his watch. He could be in Santa Fe by noon and in some sweet little thing’s panties soon after. He threw his leg over the seat and settled into it before turning the key and revving the engine several times. An old man sitting on the porch reading his newspaper by porch light looked at him in disapproval and Michael flipped him off and revved the engine once more for good measure.

He had spent the entire night fucking a beautiful woman and he was irritable and ready to pick a fight with someone. Maybe when he got to Santa Fe he’d find some idiot in need of a good ass-kicking and get that out of his system before looking for some hot bitch in need of fucking. He rolled his shoulders back and took a deep breath before pulling out into the quiet street.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 4 - 3/9

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:37 am

Flamehair – This Granolith can be a pain in the ass, huh?

Spacegirl23 - Time Travel? Why not? You’ll find out very soon.

DeDe PR – That was a very emotional moment for Max and Isabel, not just for Maria. Max, Isabel and Michael have been together all their lives and now Michael is gone. The Granolith refuses to go against its rules. But, it can do other stuff.


Part 4

Maria ran into the chamber that housed the Granolith, stumbling in her haste to reach it. Her heart was pounding from the exertion of climbing the side of the rocky incline and her emotions were swirling darkly within her, building into a fury that couldn’t be contained.

Her breathing was rapid as she inhaled and exhaled loudly through her nose. She paced around the device, her eyes moving over it as she considered the best plan of attack. Her movements were stilted, edgy, and she wanted nothing more than to destroy the thing, but it was her only hope of getting Michael back.

“You think you’re so damned powerful, so important, so worthy of being worshipped or revered, or whatever it is that your civilization uses you for, that you can just sit here and refuse to save someone who is essential to the survival of your own people!” she ranted. “You can travel through time, you can undo a goddamned alien invasion, and you’ve apparently had way too much time to sit here on your… your… your ass if you’ve got one, and let yourself begin to believe you’re a hell of a lot more important than you are! If you’re so important why are you here on earth and not on Antar, being worshipped by your public? You have the power to choose whether or not someone lives or dies and you do nothing, you worthless piece of shit!” She screamed in frustration and picked up a baseball-sized rock, preparing to throw it at the device when it began to glow.

“Yet you seek my assistance,” the mechanical voice rumbled.

Maria shook her head, disbelief warring with a burning hatred when she heard the cold, detached voice once more. She was certain she had detected arrogance in its statement and that only fueled the flames of the fire that was raging inside of her. “You can alter time, prevent that accident from happening.”

“It is within my abilities.”

“I know it’s within your abilities, you useless sonofabitch! You let Max travel back in time to change it. Is that because he’s the king so it automatically means he’s worthy of breaking the sacred rules?” She glanced down at the rock in her hand and hurled it at the Granolith, unsurprised when it merely bounced off of what she was sure was a force field of some sort. “You won’t protect him but you’ll protect yourself.” Her voice dripped with disdain. “I’m waiting for an answer to my question.”

“The choice to alter time to save a single being is not within my powers, it is strictly prohibited by the creators. Modifications were made at the time – “

“I don’t give a damn about modifications!” she yelled, unable to reconcile how an entity such as this could possess such power and do nothing with it. “Do you know where your king is? He’s on the verge of losing his sanity right at this very moment because his brother, his best friend, and his second in command is lying dead under six feet of sand!” She beat her fists against the device, uncaring that it wasn’t registering the fact that it was being hit over and over.

She didn’t notice the prickling sensation at first, the feeling that something was probing deep within her subconscious, but when it became more insistent she jerked back away from the Granolith. “What’re you doing?”

“Your emotions are connected to the hybrid.”

“What have I been saying since I got here?” she asked, frustrated by its lack of understanding.

“This hybrid is necessary to your existence?”

Relief flooded her system when it posed the question in its controlled, emotionless tone. “Yes!”

“You would go anywhere to be with him?” It chose its next words carefully. “There could be changes, possibly differences – “

“I don’t care! Just get me back to Michael; I don’t care about anything else!” Maria’s breath froze in her throat for several seconds, wondering what the Granolith had in mind. She would almost swear, as she stood there looking at it, that it was… thinking, considering all aspects of some problem before making a decision. It had turned a dark shade of blue, but the glow surrounding it showed that it was active, that whatever being was inside was somehow working towards a solution for Michael.

She had managed to awaken its conscience, its responsibility towards the hybrids. Or, at the very least, she had made it consider the possibilities. She wasn’t sure what it intended to do but something monumental was going to take place and she was ready, she could feel it in her bones. She would do anything to save Michael; she would travel to the ends of the world, the universe, to get him back and give him a new chance at the life that he so deserved.

A red light shot out of the Granolith, startling her. She raised her head to look at it, fascinated by the beautiful burgundy color that it was displaying. A strange sensation began to take her over, leaving her powerless; she could feel her own body escaping her control and she was physically drawn to the device until she finally collided with it. Expecting to be hurt, she closed her eyes, unaware that she was being drawn through the Granoliths’ shield, unharmed. She opened her eyes and her gaze darted around, realizing that she was inside the device.

Fear seized her and the feeling of truly being alone suddenly overcame her. She had a last thought for her mother, whom she regretted leaving the way she had, doing to her mother what her father had done to them so long ago. She thought about Liz and she hoped that she and Max were going to be truly happy. Kyle, Isabel, Alex, the sheriff, Laurie, Jeff Parker, Grandma Claudia, Brody, and Sydney… all people she had known and loved, and whose faces were swirling in her mind.

She tried desperately to focus on Michael, to tell herself that she was going back to him, when everything suddenly began to accelerate. Feeling dizzy and afraid she quickly recalled Max’s tale of the Granolith taking Tess inside and sending her to Antar. It had done this before and it was going to do it again, for Michael. Relief settled over her as her eyes closed, her breathing began to slow down, and a welcoming black veil fell over her, ready for the Granolith to take her to whatever time and place it had chosen.

*****

Kyle’s gaze shot up to the entrance that led to the Granolith when he felt a rumbling beneath his feet.

“Oh, my God,” Liz whispered, leaning away from Max so she could look towards the cave. A bright flash of light caused her to turn away and close her eyes to protect herself. Fear shot through her and she wondered what the Granolith had done as she rushed inside to get to Maria and remove her from the cave. Desperately, she shoved displaced rocks out of her path, clawing her way into the pod chamber, ignoring Kyle who was yelling at her to come back. She couldn’t listen to him; she wasn’t going to let another friend die or get hurt by an alien, whether that alien was alive or not. She reached the pods and crawled inside one of them, feeling Max’s soothing presence for just a fleeting moment. She smiled slightly. She was inside Max’s pod, no doubt about it. She continued on, her hands scraped and bruised, but her will to reach Maria strong enough to allow her to push past the pain.

She finally reached the inner chamber where the Granolith stood tall and her eyes scanned the small area, noting that there was no sign of Maria inside. She turned her eyes towards the device, almost afraid to ask it what had happened. She was trying to formulate a question when Kyle appeared behind her, followed by Max and Isabel. Liz’s eyes immediately went to Max. He looked so devastated, so broken, and she couldn’t stand to see him in so much pain. She went to him and took him into her arms.

“Max, whatever happened here, the Granolith is going to fix it. I don’t know how, but Michael will be back.”

His dark, pain-filled eyes turned towards her. She sounded so sure. Why wasn’t she scared for Maria? She wasn’t there any longer, that much was obvious, but they didn’t know where she was… where the Granolith had sent her. He spoke then, his voice husky and unsure. “Liz, I know you think that, but if the Granolith had changed its mind, sent her back in time, don’t you think the change should have been instantaneous for us? Shouldn’t we be… somewhere else, with no recollection of…” Max stopped, unable to say the words. Michael’s death was too fresh, too unbearable to possibly put into words.

Liz bit her bottom lip, worrying it with her teeth. She was thinking the same thing but she didn’t want to worry Max or Isabel, who was looking at her with hope in her eyes. She wished she had all the answers, but she didn’t. She turned towards the Granolith and asked the question they all wanted the answer to,

“Where is Maria?”

The Granolith glowed for a second before answering. “She is where she is meant to be.”

“Where?” Liz questioned insistently. Her best friend was lost somewhere without her, without any of them, and she had to know what had happened. “Where? Or rather, when?”

The light in the cave seemed to get weaker and weaker until the alien device turned black. A soft, purring sound could be heard, as if the Granolith had fallen into a deep sleep and wasn’t there any longer. Liz was on the verge of kicking it to get an answer to her questions when Kyle’s voice reached her.

“We’ve gotta get outta here now,” Kyle said as he reached out to grab Isabel’s arm and pulled her to her feet. “There’s no way that went unnoticed.” He helped Liz get Max out of the cave and they all ran as fast as their legs could carry them.

Liz felt a twinge of guilt for leaving Maria behind but she was gone, somewhere out of reach. She sent a prayer to God above that wherever she was, Michael was with her.

Kyle motioned for her to get into the drivers’ seat while he reached over to secure the seatbelt around Max. He was still unresponsive, his features ravaged by a devastation too great to comprehend. “Go back home,” he instructed when Liz slid in behind the wheel and looked at him. “No phone calls. Matter of fact, give me your phone and I’ll have Isabel dispose of yours and ours at the same time. Use the usual method to contact us in three days to let us know you’re safe, and we’ll do the same.” He sighed as he patted Max’s shoulder. “You guys be careful and stay off the interstate as much as possible.”

Isabel watched them go before turning back to look at the path the Granolith had taken. “Good luck,” she whispered.

*****

Michael scanned the landscape as the wind whipped past him and he barely glanced at the large, colorful sign on the left side of the highway that proudly proclaimed the next town had the best food this side of the border. His stomach rumbled, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten since lunchtime the day before and he sped up, cutting off another car to make the exit in time. He smirked at the sound of a horn, absently wondering if people really thought they were really making their displeasure known by honking their horns.

He drove through the town, eyes watching for a bar that would meet his requirements. He didn’t want anything nice; he wanted something that catered to people who didn’t ask questions, who weren’t interested in talking. And, hey, if it just happened to have strippers that was just a bonus. The town was located relatively close to a military installation so he wanted a bar that catered to military types. He found the area that he was looking for after half an hour and he parked in front of the first bar and walked inside to check the place out.

The interior was dimly lit, the men gathered in groups around the pool tables or the catwalk where the strippers would soon be coming out to provide the entertainment. He settled at a table at one end of the bar and ordered a drink, debating which of the men would be most likely to ignore regulations and engage in a fight.

He was in the process of taking a drink from the bottle in his hand when a feeling of warmth and… what was that, excitement? Happiness? What the hell was going on? He looked around the bar, already knowing what he would find, and his irritation shifted up a notch when he verified that there wasn’t a single woman in sight.

Excitement he could understand – if he had been in the presence of an attractive woman and sex was on the menu. Happiness, well, he wasn’t sure he believed such a notion actually existed. He scanned the room once more, seeking a viable target, an opponent who could hold their own against him. He was barely conscious of the music getting louder, paying no attention to the women slinking around on the stage as he felt the aggression surging through his veins. First nightmares and now warm, fuzzy feelings; he didn’t understand what was going on, but it was pissing him off.

He looked up when something soft slid against his neck and he turned his head to look at the stripper, already bare from the waist up, as she slid a silky scarf around his neck. He watched her as she moved around him, her body completely in sync with the music as she danced. He waited for the familiar feeling of arousal, anticipating it when she straddled him and started to grind her pelvis against him. He was ready for it… any second now…

He smirked in satisfaction when his body finally responded to the stimulation, but his expression quickly switched to impassive when her surprised gaze flew to his. She ground down harder against his erection and leaned in to whisper in his ear.

Michael’s dark eyes skimmed over the sea of female flesh behind her, all in various stages of nudity and he frowned when he realized that there wasn’t a single one there that he was interested in. His body was responding but not the way it normally did and it was pissing him off. What the fuck was up with that? he wondered, feeling anger pushing through the surface and he knew he had to do something, quick.

“Slow starter, hmm?” she growled throatily.

His eyes turned to ice in the space of a heartbeat. “Funny thing about the male body,” he muttered coldly, “give it enough stimulation and it’ll react predictably.”

The woman’s movements stilled and she frowned. “What?”

“Get lost, bitch; my dick doesn’t go near anyone who’s been ridden as much as you.”

“Don’t talk to the lady like that, man.”

Michael looked up at the man who had spoken and felt adrenaline rush through his veins. This was what he had been looking for when he had chosen this particular bar; the man defending the lady’s honor was big, military, and he would be able to hold his own in a fight. He shoved the woman off of him, ignoring her indignant shout as he stood and faced off against the man. He met the challenging gaze directed at him and his fists clenched at his sides in anticipation of the coming fight.

“You owe the lady an apology.”

“Not gonna happen,” Michael muttered as he swung hard. Satisfaction washed over him when his fist connected with the man’s jaw, the sound of flesh and bone connecting giving him the release he had been waiting for.

People scattered to get out of the way when the man charged towards him, bending at the waist and ramming his shoulder into Michael’s gut, lifting him up off of the floor. He brought his hands down sharply, the sides connecting with the Marine’s neck. The man released him and he dropped back down to his feet.

The man quickly recovered and came after him again, this time with a quick uppercut that connected with Michael’s jaw and he felt his head snap back from the force of the blow. He stumbled back several steps and hit the side of one of the pool tables, momentarily pausing to breathe. He wiped blood from the corner of his mouth and focused on getting his breathing back under control. He reached back and his right hand curled around the pool cue that had been abandoned by one of the players when the fight had started.

The Marine came after him again and he swung the pool cue into the man’s ribs, rolling his shoulders back when the man grunted and backed off momentarily. It was only a matter of seconds before the big man advanced on him once more and Michael threw the pool cue on the floor before launching himself at the man.

He took a sharp hit to his ribs and he knew it was going to leave a bruise but he didn’t care, he just wanted to do some damage. He got in several satisfying punches before someone hit him from behind and he automatically folded in on himself for a moment. Kidney shot, he thought, wincing. Great, now he was gonna be pissin’ blood for the next couple of days. He straightened up, pushing the pain away, and whirled around to look at the man who had thrown the punch while his back was turned.

He looked at the young guy, maybe nineteen or twenty years old, probably a new recruit, and he saw red. He barreled into the younger man, shoving him back until the guys’ back hit the edge of the bar. It took three well-placed punches before the guy slumped to the floor unconscious.

“Dumbass,” he snorted as he turned back to the Marine and flexed his hands.

“I think you two have done enough damage for today,” a new voice spoke up above the silence that had fallen over the crowd.

Michael glanced over his shoulder and frowned at the cops making their way through the sea of customers who had gathered to watch the fight. God, if this day got any worse he was gonna throw himself off of the tallest building he could find.

“We’re gonna take you boys down to the jail,” the first cop said. “Maybe a night in lockup will calm you down and make you think twice about getting into barroom brawls.” He approached the two combatants without any concern, pulling out a pair of handcuffs and securing Michael’s wrists behind his back while his partner did the same to the other guy.

“You’re wastin’ your time,” Michael said. “I’ll be out in an hour.”

“Son, you’ll be sittin’ in a holdin’ cell in an hour.”

“I want my phone call.”

“You’ll get you call when we get to the station,” the second cop spoke up as he herded the big Marine outside.

Michael shoved the cop back when he reached out to take his arm. “I can walk just fine on my own,” he snarled.

He was demanding his phone call as soon as they walked through the front entrance and the cop finally removed the handcuff from his left wrist and attached the second cuff to a metal ring mounted to a desk. The man grabbed the phone from the other end of the desk and slammed it down on the scarred surface in front of Michael.

“Call who you wanna call, boy, but you’re spendin’ the night in a cell.”

“Wanna bet?” Michael dragged the man’s chair closer and took a seat, slouching down and staring at the man insolently as he punched a number in. He propped his feet up on the edge of the desk and leaned back, waiting for an answer. When the call was finally answered from the opposite end by a deep, gravelly voice he grinned; he had managed to drag the old man out of bed again. “Hey, Xavier, gotta problem,” he said by way of greeting.

Xavier Coulson considered throwing the phone into the pool and ignoring the man on the other end. Even from thousands of miles away Michael Guerin was giving him a headache. “What’ve you gotten yourself into this time?”

He relayed his current situation to the man on the other end of the phone and waited for the explosion he knew was coming. “You called the emergency number for this?” the man shouted angrily. He had two beautiful, exotic, women in his bed and he had been forced to put a halt to their activities when the call had been patched through. This wasn’t the first time he had been on the verge of fucking a beautiful woman and had to wait because of some problem that had come up, a problem that Guerin had most likely caused; it was like the bastard had some sort of radar that went off any time Xavier was about to indulge his wilder side. “You do know that if you weren’t so goddamned good at your job I’d have you shot for all the trouble you cause me, right?” He sighed in resignation. “Put the arresting officer on the phone. And Michael? If you call me one more time for this kind of bullshit I will have you shot.”

Michael handed the phone over to the cop and watched the man’s face as Xavier explained a few things to him. The color slowly drained from his face and his eyes widened as he glanced at the man he had taken into custody.

Michael’s expression was smug as he walked out of the police station, knowing there would be no record of the incident. He debated whether he wanted to eat or not and finally decided to wait until he reached Santa Fe. He pulled his keys out and tossed them back and forth from one hand to the other as he passed the bar and moved to his motorcycle.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 5 - 3/16

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:46 am

Cassie – the possibilities? There are a lot. Wait and see where it’s going.

Spacegirl23 – Maria left, but the question is, where is she? When is she? The answer is close, don’t worry.

DeDe PR – you will learn soon what happened to everyone, well, everyone in that “new world” Michael is living in.


Part 5

Maria gradually became aware of a quiet humming sound that seemed to be coming from all around. After a few moments she realized that she was lying on the floor and that she could feel the vibrations being generated beneath her. She slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position and looked around, feeling disoriented and dizzy. She recognized the Granolith chamber almost immediately and valiantly fought against a wave of nausea as she shakily got to her feet.

She slowly stumbled over to the chambers' entrance, bracing her hand against the wall as the dizziness made the room swim before her eyes. Behind her the Granolith glowed brightly, the light pulsing for a moment. She ducked down to make her way out of the chamber when a mellow voice spoke up.

"Good luck."

She turned around and stared at the Granolith for several seconds before carefully shaking her head. The voice sounded quite different than it had earlier, it sounded almost mischievous. As if it had just played a prank on someone and it was quite pleased with itself. Ridiculous, she thought, blaming her whimsical thoughts on the feeling of disorientation that she hadn't shaken off yet. There was no way the cold, unemotional entity was capable of coming anywhere close to feeling any of those things.

She made her way into the outer chamber and stood, brushing her clothes off. Her gaze scanned over the pods, her eyes going directly to the one that had held Michael so safely after the crash. She ran her fingers over the edges, hoping to feel her connection to him come alive once more. She could feel… something, almost like a faint flicker, but it wasn't strong enough to convince her that everything was as it was supposed to be.

She turned to look at the other pods and gasped loudly when her eyes fell on one that still held a small body cocooned inside. Tess, she realized, moving closer to it. Had the Granolith sent her back, expecting her to kill the alien? To do whatever was necessary to prevent Tess from coming into their lives and causing so many problems?

She hurried back into the innermost chamber, standing and facing off against the device that she had trusted to fix things. "What'd you do?" she demanded. "When I asked you to fix things, to bring Michael back, this isn't what you were supposed to do!" She paced restlessly, trying to put her argument together. "Did you send me back here to kill Tess? If her coming into our lives is the catalyst that set everything in motion from that point on, couldn't you have just removed her from the equation yourself?"

"If it would save your mate and prevent events from happening as they did, would you carry out your mission?"

The voice was almost… kind as it made its query and she frowned at it. Could she do it? If it meant altering the past, removing the threat that Tess had been to all of them, could she make that choice? Alex would be alive, Michael would never have been near that ledge, Max wouldn't have been taken by Pierce, Michael wouldn't have had to kill Pierce and live with the guilt… There were so many reasons to do it, to take the life of one alien, and not just any alien, but Tess. She wouldn't remember it, but could she take the life of a child, even if it was Tess?

The Granolith glowed brightly for a moment and suddenly it was speaking again, its tone reassuring and warm. "Do not worry, this decision is not yours to make; this decision was made long ago. Accept my offering and begin your journey."

"What are you offering me?" she asked suspiciously.

"You have been given the power to affect the events of the past, present, and future." It made a sound close to a chuckle though it was mechanically distorted, and the light surrounding it pulsed once more. "Be more trusting, young human. I know what I am doing. Go now, and discover what I am offering you."

Maria stared at the alien device and shook her head. Either she had hit her head somewhere along the way or this thing had a multiple personality disorder.

Confused and no closer to an answer she went back out into the pod chamber and crouched down to look at Tess more closely, studying the features of the alien in the shadowed pod. The pod was completely dark, the small body inside perfectly preserved, but dead. That meant that she had never hatched, never gone to Roswell… she hadn't brought Nacedo into their lives, Alex would still be alive… But, wait, if Alex hadn't translated the destiny book, the hybrids had never had the opportunity to go back to Antar, and Michael wouldn't have chosen to stay behind for her. What would that mean to their relationship?

She could feel sadness trying to push its way to the surface and she ruthlessly shoved it away before it could take hold of her. She had to stay strong if she was going to figure out the Granolith's riddle and hopefully find out what it was offering her. She hoped it was the opportunity to change the past as it had suggested; changing the past would affect the past, present, and future, right? So, that had to be what it was talking about.

She walked out of the cave and looked to the east, pausing a moment to watch the sun's slow climb into the early morning sky. First things first, she thought. She had to get to Roswell. Would she find the others there? There was only one way to find out. She glanced at the sunrise once more, estimating that she only had a couple of hours to make it out to the highway before the temperature began to rise to unbearable degrees as the sun got higher and reflected off of the sand below.

All of those long walks that Michael liked to take had conditioned her for the hike across several miles of desert and once he heard about this he wouldn't let her forget it. Her spirits momentarily dipped towards depression as she recalled her reason for having to hike across the desert in the first place.

"You can do this, Maria," she said, forcing her voice to be strong and not waver. She took a moment to breathe deeply, drawing strength from her belief that in the end she would have Michael back. "You can do this," she whispered once more before taking the first steps of her journey.

*****

Michael tossed the saddlebags down on the hotel room dresser and sprawled out on the bed, linking his hands behind his head as he stared at the ceiling. He had opted to go with one of Santa Fe's nicer hotels because he liked room service, ready-to-order porn, and because uptight rich chicks were so much fun to mess with. There was a buffet of beautiful women at this hotel - he knew because he had staked out two others before deciding on this one. There were a couple of hot chicks on the staff too and he hadn't missed the day shift manager checking him out. Hell, he could probably get a couple decent fucks outta her and get the room for free. Hmm, now there was an idea, he thought. It wasn't like he was struggling for money or anything, he was set financially, but hey, if he could save a few bucks and get laid, who was he to complain?

He pushed himself up on his elbows and glanced down at his lower body, frowning at the lack of activity below his belt. He wasn't used to having to coax a response out of his dick; the damn thing normally had a mind of its own and as a rule he never questioned its judgment. But the last day or so it had not been behaving normally and he was beginning to really get pissed off at it.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" he muttered. Maybe it wasn't sexually-related at all; maybe it was an alien thing. Maybe he was sick. "Yeah, right, you're sick and your dick's the only thing affected." Nah, he'd never been sick a day in his life. He stood up and walked into the bathroom to start the shower, uneasy about this recent turn of events. The problem wasn't just his dick; he wasn't feeling that usual drive to go on the prowl and nail whatever piece of ass caught his attention.

He was tired, that's all it was, he thought, denying that it could possibly be anything else. For the past few months he had taken on several jobs back-to-back and he was just exhausted, that's all it was. "Mentally and physically exhausted," he said, nodding to himself in satisfaction.

Once the water was hot enough he stripped out of his clothes and threw them on the floor behind him, determined to move past this annoying problem. He pushed the curtain back and stepped into the marble tub, bracing his hands against the wall under the showerhead as the scalding hot water poured down over him. He looked down at the pair of metal identification tags swinging from the chain around his neck and let his thoughts wander back to that bitch cop he had fucked… Damn, had it really been more than twenty-four hours ago? She'd had a thing about his tags, fisting them while she rode him, as if she could control him that way. No one could control him, he thought defiantly. He had made it a point to take control every time she had reached for his tags, flipping her over and pounding her into the mattress. It had become a matter of competition once he realized that she had no intention of releasing her hold on the tags. She had given him a run for his money, but in the end he had won.

He glanced down when he felt the familiar tug of arousal and realized that his dick had decided to get back in the game. "I always win," he told it as he took it in hand. "You'd do well to remember that."

Feeling much better after jerking off and finishing his shower Michael toweled off and crossed the room to retrieve his cell phone. He scrolled through the numbers until he reached the one he wanted, pressing the call button and pinning the phone between his shoulder and ear.

"Somebody'd better be dyin'," the voice from the other end answered gruffly.

"Sounds like you're the one dyin', Indigo," Michael said loudly, easily identifying the hangover from the man's raspy voice. "Late night?"

"Guerin, where the fuck you been, man?"

He grinned at the man's sudden switch from hangover to sober. "Hidin' in plain sight as always. You got plans tonight?"

When did he not have plans? "You in town?"

"For a few days." Hanging out with Indigo would do him some good; the man knew where to find beautiful women. There would be no need for him to work to get laid, it'd be a piece of cake.

"Shit, man, why didn't you just come on over?"

Good question, but one he didn't really wanna think about. "Nah, just needed to kick back for a while."

The laughter from the other end was disbelieving. "You found a piece of ass to nail, didn't you? Bet you're at one of those overpriced hotels too, huh?"

"Overpriced, but who says I'm payin' for it."

"Manager's a woman, right?" Indigo laughed raucously. "You did the manager? Guerin, you're such a dog! You remember where my place is?"

Michael grunted in response.

"Head over this way when you're ready to get movin' and we'll make a night of it."

Michael disconnected from the call and tossed the phone on the bed beside him. He was gonna get at least a couple hours of sleep before he left the hotel; he was going to need it for a night out with Indigo because the man liked to party. He was twenty-nine years old and he acted like someone half his age most of the time.

He reached up to rub his eyes tiredly before grabbing an edge of the comforter and pulling it over himself as he rolled over and quickly fell asleep.

*****

Maria stepped out of the truck, thanking the man behind the wheel, and stood back as he pulled away from the curb. The stretch of highway that led out past the part of the desert where the Granolith was housed wasn't well-traveled, but thankfully truck drivers used it on a regular basis. She was surprised that she had only seen the one truck, but luckily the man had stopped to give her a lift, and he had been pleasant but not very talkative.

She looked around the town she had grown up in, feeling more like a tourist than someone who had spent most of her life living there. It suddenly occurred to her that she didn't know what day it was; she should have asked the Granolith about that before leaving.

It was a good thing that Roswell wasn't that large, she thought as she started walking towards the Crashdown. The restaurant that Liz's parents owned was the best place to start and they would have a newspaper that she could check for the date without raising any eyebrows. She had to know at what point in time the Granolith had placed her so she would know what the others knew about the hybrids, the humans, the Special Unit, and each other before she approached them.

The bell above the door tinkled cheerfully as she stepped inside the familiar building, but as she looked around she was surprised to see that it had changed. She seated herself at one of the booths and asked for a glass of water and a newspaper when the waitress approached her. She hid a smile when the young woman walked away, rolling her eyes; people who came in and only ordered a glass of water rarely ordered anything else and they never left a tip.

Maria sipped her water and reached for the paper the waitress had placed on the other side of the table. Her eyes lifted to the date, relieved to find it correct. She glanced around the restaurant once more, wondering how it was possible for things to change so much in such a short time. They had been gone less than a year and in that time the Parkers had changed the interior from the alien theme it had always had to a bland, basic style that had no ambience to it.

She lowered her gaze back to the newspaper, opening it up and scanning over the bold headlines, looking for anything of interest. Her eyes locked on one that stated that the President was planning to seek another term in office and she shook her head as she looked at the large picture below the article.

"This isn't right," she muttered.

"You didn't vote for him either, huh?"

She glanced up at the man who had spoken. "I'm sorry?"

"I wasn't eavesdropping," he said as he motioned to the paper she held. "I overheard your comment and figured you must be reading about President Dennison's' plans to run for office again. Don't worry, I didn't vote for that idiot either." He smiled as he sat down across from her, uninvited. "You must be new in town; just passin' through?"

She nodded. "Yeah, just passing through; I used to live here, years ago." She took another sip of her water. "I don't know; I might stay for a few days. I haven't decided yet." She glanced at him over her paper. "You live here?"

"For a few years now."

"Well, maybe you'd know what happened to this place." She waved one hand around, indicating the walls around them. "It used to have a very different theme."

"The alien thing, right?" He nodded and shrugged. "The couple who owned it sold it not long after their daughter was shot and killed. They left the state, but I don't know where they moved to. I guess it was too much for them to - " He paused when the young woman across from him paled. "Hey, are you alright?"

Maria quickly forced her breathing back under control and her eyes locked on the man across from her. "Liz Parker? You're telling me Liz Parker is dead?"

"Yeah, did you know her or somethin'?"

"Years ago," she answered carefully.

"Well, I've gotta get going," he said, rising with an apologetic smile. "Work's waiting."

What the hell was going on? If Liz was dead then Max hadn't saved her and that meant that she and Michael had never gotten together. She needed more information. Maria dropped the newspaper and hurried out of the restaurant, heading for the one place that would have the information she needed.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 6 - 3/23

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:00 am

Spacegirl23 – This Michael is always horny! Hmm, about Liz’s death, expect some shocking news in the next part.

DeDe PR – You are going to understand in this part what’s going on.

Flamehair – There are other shocking news coming, so don’t stop reading.


Author's Note - This part contains a mature/adult scene which could be disturbing to some of you - exercise caution and read at your own risk!!!

Part 6

Michael awoke from his nap, his heart thumping madly in his chest, and he pounded his fist against the mattress in frustration. What was going on with him? he wondered, once again unable to recall the events in the nightmare, only remembering the feeling of fear that accompanied it.

He had to get a grip on these nightmares before they drove him crazy. He rolled over on his back and stared at the ceiling for several minutes before finally getting up so he could get dressed. He shook his head as he laced his boots up, unable to shake the irritating sensation of discomfort that seemed to be lingering longer and longer after each of the disturbing nightmares.

"You need to get laid," he muttered as he grabbed his leather jacket. He paused in front of the mirror and studied his appearance, nodding in satisfaction when he found nothing to change.

In the lobby he stopped by the front desk to remind the idiot behind the desk that he didn't want housekeeping in his room before going out to his motorcycle. He ignored the parking lot attendants as he walked into the valet parking lot, locating the motorcycle right where he had left it. He didn't trust anyone else to drive it and a little intimidation went a long way when it came to being allowed to park wherever he wanted to.

He checked the motorcycle to make sure no one had damaged it overnight and once he was satisfied he threw his right leg over the seat and settled into it. He was inserting the key when movement in the mirror caught his attention and he leaned back to get a better look. His eyebrows lifted above his sunglasses in interest when a tall blond in a thong bikini bent over the open trunk of a Jaguar and reached inside.

"See something you like?" she asked as she stood and turned around.

Michael shifted to look at her, carefully masking his expression as he met her knowing gaze. "Maybe." She knew she was hot and she didn't bother acting demure and coy, something that had his dick standing at attention within seconds. His eyes followed her as she walked up to him, enjoying the sway of her perfect hips as she moved. Everything about her screamed wealth and he wondered if she'd be willing to just move that thong aside and let him take her right there in the parking lot.

She removed her sunglasses as she came up next to him, boldly reaching down to scrape her fingernails over the denim covering his obvious erection. "Maybe?" she mocked with a teasing smile.

Oh, yeah, she wanted him. He wasn't even gonna have to work for this one. He leaned back and let her look him over, enjoying it when her deep blue eyes came to rest on his face.

"I'll bet with just the slightest bit of creativity you could take me for a ride I wouldn't soon forget."

Was she suggesting…? Michael glanced down at the motorcycle and his dick got impossibly harder at the visual image that quickly sprang to mind. He could easily picture the blonde draped over the bike in front of him while he pounded into her from behind. "A ride you wouldn't soon forget? I'll take you for a ride you'll never forget."

She smiled at his cocky tone and applied just the right amount of pressure to his erection to make his hips jerk in response. "You're very sure of yourself."

His grin was conceited as he pressed his erection into her palm. "I have every reason to be sure of myself."

"Then I suppose it's time someone brought you down a notch or two." She withdrew her hand and slapped him hard across the face. "Women do not appreciate being treated as sexual objects."

Michael's mind was racing as he tried to make sense of what had just happened. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" he snarled.

"You are what's wrong with me. Men like you see an attractive woman and you automatically think they're just gonna drop to their knees for you."

"Hell, if that's what you're pissed about you can just put the bitch away; I wasn't waitin' for you to get on your knees. I'm more interested in fucking right now." He shrugged carelessly. "But, hey, if you wanna gimme a blowjob later that's cool too."

"So, what, you thought I'd just mount you right here in the parking lot?" She shook her head when he simply smirked. "You're completely disgusting,"

"Hey, I had all intentions of bein' the one doin' the mounting; all you've gotta do is enjoy the ride."

"Does this type of come-on typically get you laid?"

Michael smiled proudly. "It's never failed."

"Well, consider this your first failure, you cocky bastard."

"Psychotic bitch," he muttered, watching her walk away. He glanced down at his crotch and shook his head; he was so hard it was getting painful and he shifted uncomfortably. "Now you wanna act the way you're supposed to." He raised his head in time to see her toss a venomous look over her shoulder. He flipped her off and started the motorcycle, mentally willing his erection to disappear. He was still feeling off and it was probably because of the damn nightmares that hadn't stopped. That was the only way to explain why he had just been turned down by… No. His pride refused to accept that. He hadn't been turned down. No, that wasn't it at all. She had to be a lesbian. Yeah, that was it - that had to be it. There was no other reason for a woman who looked like that to turn down what he was offering. Now he had a mission - to nail her before he left Santa Fe.

*****

Maria settled down at one of the computers in the Roswell Public Library and quickly set about searching the archives for the local newspaper. She started with the day of the shooting, doing everything she could to control her emotions as she read the article covering the death of her best friend.

Why hadn't Max saved her? What could have stopped him from taking the risk that had brought them all together?

She worked her way backwards, slowly scanning the headlines for anything involving her friends. She paused when she ran across an article about the sheriff, the headline reading: Sheriff Valenti Resigns. She read the short article detailing Sheriff Valenti's decision to resign and relocate to Denver, Colorado with his wife of seventeen years and their three sons.

The sheriff was still married? And had three boys?

She scanned through another year's worth of articles when Alex's name jumped out at her: Local Boy Genius Accepted at Prestigious School on East Coast. The article contained interviews with his parents and the reporter had done a good job of capturing their pride at their son's accomplishments. He had closed with a brief overview of the couples' plans to move back east with their son.

A paper from ten years earlier explained why Max hadn't healed Liz when the shooting had taken place. At nine years old he and Isabel had died in a car accident with their parents while coming home from visiting relatives out of state.

What the hell was going on?

She carefully searched the archives for any information about Michael and was surprised that there was no mention of him anywhere. She hadn't expected to find much, maybe just a few notices where he had been picked up by the sheriff for getting into trouble or maybe some mention of his foster father, Hank, but there was nothing.

She tried searching for information by typing his name in the search bar at the top of the web page but couldn't find anything on him. This was just weird… everything was different and she didn't know why. She leaned back in the chair and stared at the screen, her gaze locked on the cursor blinking cheerfully in the search box. After staring at it for a few minutes she leaned forward and typed her own name in and hit the enter button.

She frowned when a page popped up on the screen and prompted her to enter another section of the archives. She clicked on the button and her breath lodged in her throat when she read the bold typeface at the top of the page: Obituaries.

Maria DeLuca, daughter of Amy and Richard
DeLuca passed away on Wednesday afternoon
due to complications from a staph infection…


Whoa! How could she be dead? It wasn't possible, she was sitting right there, reading… reading her own obituary, she realized. Her eyes widened as understanding suddenly dawned on her and she slumped down in the chair. Oh my God. The Granolith hadn't sent her back in time; it had sent her to a completely different universe. It was the only thing that made sense in this crazy place and it explained why everything was different.

She had to go back to the Granolith; it had to fix the mistake it had made. She hadn't asked it to send her to an alternate universe, she had asked it to fix things so that Michael wouldn't fall from the cliff and die.

You have been given the power to affect the events of the past, present, and future. The Granolith's words echoed in her mind even as something within her rebelled at the thought of going back to her own universe where Michael was no longer alive. What could she possibly do here that would affect the events of the past, present, and future in her reality? she wondered.

*****

Indigo Jeffries opened his front door when the rumbling engine of the motorcycle got closer, indicating that his company had arrived. He shook his head when he recognized the angry expression on the other man's face. Someone or something had pissed Guerin off big time, he thought as he walked along the sidewalk to the driveway.

"Took you long enough to get here, you self-centered bastard," he called out in greeting.

Michael looked up at the man who had spoken, unable to stop the grin that surfaced when he saw Indigo. They had saved each other's lives on more than one occasion and the man was probably the one person on this crappy planet that he could honestly call a friend.

Indigo was a couple of inches taller than Michael, African-American, and he was always ready for a good time. He had retired from the company a couple of years earlier after losing his left hand in an explosion; he had settled outside of Santa Fe with a financial settlement that ensured he would never have to work again, but he wasn't the type of man who could be idle for very long so he had started his own charter business.

"Who're you callin' a self-centered bastard, you one-handed sonofabitch?"

Indigo laughed boisterously and raised his right hand to shoot the finger at his old friend. Michael was the only one who had treated him normally after he had lost his hand and he appreciated that more than words could ever say. Which was good, he mused, because the last thing Guerin would want would be some mushy declaration of gratitude. He lifted his left hand, extending the prosthetic attachment in the other man's direction. "I keep tellin' 'em the damn thing needs five prongs; it's just not quite the same flippin' people off when there's only three mechanical fingers."

"You finally getting the hang of that thing?"

"Yup, the doctors have released me from therapy." He frowned, thinking. "Course, that could have more to do with the fact that I got caught screwin' the therapist when she was supposed to be teaching me how to pick up a ball." He motioned for Michael to follow him inside the house. "I told her I'm right handed and I didn't need to know how to pick up a ball anyway. Hell, now that I'm outta the company the only thing I need to know is how to pick up a piece of ass when the mood strikes, and I've known how to do that since I was old enough to know what to do with my dick. She disagreed, so I had to prove her wrong."

"Uh-huh," Michael mumbled, certain there was more to the story. "So you got kicked outta therapy for screwin' the therapist?"

"Well, she might've been married to one of my doctors, or engaged." He shrugged carelessly. "I heard they're not together anymore."

"I'm guessin' he's the one who caught you screwin' her?"

"Man, she was so into it she didn't even know he was standin' right there while she was screamin' an' comin' so hard she almost blacked out." He pulled a couple of beers out of the refrigerator and turned to look at Michael. "She made therapy very… therapeutic." He held the first bottle in the crook of his left arm and popped the top off of the bottle before offering it to Michael.

"And you're not seein' her anymore?"

"Nah, she was a little too attached to the claw." He held his left 'hand' up and stared at it for a minute. "She was a good distraction while it lasted though." A wolfish grin graced Indigo's face. "You'd be surprised how many times I get offered a pity fuck because women feel sorry for me."

Michael snorted and took a long drink from the bottle in his hand. "If they're hot I hope you're takin' 'em up on their offers."

"Fuck yeah! Speakin' of fuckin', I invited a few women over later; figured I'll barbeque, we'll drink, screw a couple of 'em, and drink some more. Unless you'd rather go out, cuz we can do that too."

"Doesn't matter. They're hot, right? Cuz I'm not handin' out pity fucks to ugly chicks."

Indigo roared with laughter. "Man, you never change. No, they're all hot, trust me."

"And you ain't fucked none of 'em right? I don't want your sloppy seconds, Indigo."

"I've screwed a couple of 'em, but I'll let you know which ones." He nodded at the window that faced the acres of open land behind his house. "Feel like shootin' somethin'?" he asked, dark eyes shining brightly at the prospect of picking up a gun.

Michael leaned back in his chair a couple of hours later, the high-powered rifle cradled comfortably in his arms as he stared at the shredded targets in the distance. They hadn't talked while they were taking aim at the targets, focusing their concentration on besting each other. They had settled down at one of the tables on the deck a little while ago, talking about old missions and reminiscing over fallen comrades. Indigo had a tendency to mellow out as the alcohol began to seep into his bloodstream and he had stumbled slightly as he went back into the house to answer the door when the doorbell chimed.

He looked up when half a dozen women stepped out onto the back deck, followed by Indigo who was doing his best to appear as if he hadn't been drinking.

"Told you they were hot," he muttered, slurring slightly. He dropped down in the chair next to the one Michael had chosen and leaned in close to him as he pointed at three of the women standing at the opposite end of the deck. "Okay, those three there… those are mine."

Michael's eyebrows rose, he was impressed. "You've already had all three?"

"Not had, Guerin, have." He stressed the words as he turned his head to grin drunkenly at the women. "As in I am currently screwin' all three."

"You're fuckin' all three of 'em?"

He sat up straighter, feeling smug when he heard the impressed tone in Michael's voice. "Oh, yeah. I'm tellin' you, Guerin, the right woman - or women, in my case - will make all the difference. Don't jump to conclusions," he warned when he saw the speculative gleam in his friend's dark eyes. "I'm not gonna marry any of 'em or anything, but hell, it's a wild ride."

"Not interested in anything that requires more than a night, Indigo."

"You don't know what you're missin'." He shook his head but knew he wasn't gonna change the man's mind. He had known Michael for almost eight years now and the man hadn't once formed any kind of attachment to any of the women he'd been with. It was a rare occasion for him to even hook up with the same woman more than once and he didn't think that was ever going to change. There was something about him that made him keep everyone at a distance and he avoided relationships like the plague. "Hey, the blonde in the corner over there," he nodded at the far end of the deck where one of the women had taken up residence, paying no attention to the others as they talked. "She's waitin' for you to make a move." He shook his head in confusion when Michael turned to look at her. Since when did Guerin wait for an invitation from a woman? He knew Michael never drank anything but non-alcoholic beer because he didn't like losing control to anything, so why was it taking so long for him to make a move?

"Come on, Indy," a feminine voice whispered throatily. He turned to look up at the woman leaning over him and he abandoned his friend for a romp with his ladies.

Michael was barely aware of Indigo's disappearance as he stared at the blonde who was staring at him. It wasn't until her gaze lowered to his crotch and she shifted restlessly in her chair that he realized he was hard. Something was seriously wrong with him. He shook his head in irritation and decided to ignore whatever it was inside of him that was making him feel like he was being pulled in two different directions.

He leaned the rifle up against the house and stood, making a follow me motion with his head as he stepped back inside the house. As soon as she joined him his arm snaked around her waist and he pulled her up against his body. The moment her body came into contact with his she started to grind herself against his erection and he rolled his eyes as she whimpered and her eyes slid closed.

"Oh, God," she whispered raggedly. "I'm gonna… oh, God…"

She was gonna be so easy, he thought to himself. Hell, she was already wet and frantic; the way she was humping him she was gonna come before he even touched her. She stiffened in his arms, making a guttural sound low in her throat before slumping against him limply. Oh, yeah, she had a hair trigger. He was gonna be able to make her hit her peak multiple times and she was gonna think he was a sex god.

"Ready for Round Two?" he asked when he felt her fingers tugging on his belt.

"Fuck yeah, baby."

He glanced around as he picked her up, nodding in satisfaction when she locked her legs around his waist. He cursed his lack of attention when Indigo had given him a tour of the house but he was ready to blow so he settled for the bathroom. He kicked the door shut behind him and sat her on the counter, leaning back enough to grab a foil packet out of his back pocket, rip it open, shove his jeans down, and roll the condom on. He made it a point to never fuck without a condom because caution was better than a bothersome STD.

He didn't bother to strip her panties from her shapely hips, simply shoved her skirt up, pushed the lacy panties out of the way and entered her in one smooth thrust. It barely took any time at all before she was coming again and he gritted his teeth in frustration when he didn't follow her over that edge.

Fuck! His balls felt like they were gonna explode but it was like something was holding him back. He could feel sweat trickling along his spine, the itchy sensation distracting him momentarily. His entire body felt overly-sensitized and he didn't understand what was happening to him. He could feel the woman's body clamping down on his dick as another orgasm was ripped from her, pulling him from his thoughts and bringing him back to what he was doing. Thankfully his body was familiar with the routine and had continued while his mind had been taking a short self-examination, but despite his need for release it wasn't happening.

He glanced at himself in the mirror behind her and for a fleeting moment he felt as if he were staring at a stranger. His rhythm stuttered when he thought he saw disgust in his own eyes and he looked away, focusing on the woman he was fucking. He pulled out, ignoring her sounds of protest and quickly turned her around so he could enter her from behind. He just wanted to come and get this over with and he couldn't remember ever having to work so hard to get off.

Tell her to say your name. Michael rebelled at that thought even as he wondered where it had come from. He didn't like for women to say his name while he was fucking them, he didn't want even that much of a connection with them.

"Oh, God, you're amazing," she moaned as she pushed back against him, meeting him thrust for thrust. "I've never come so many times!"

Fuck, he'd be happy if he could just come once! Michael grunted and kept up the rapid pace, dropping his forehead down to rest against her shoulder as he fought against the voice in his head. Tell her to say your name, it repeated insistently. He ignored the words being whispered inside his head, up until the point where he felt his legs start to tremble. "Say my name," he growled.

"What is it?" she hissed when his big hands left her breasts to grip her shoulders.

"Michael." Please, God, let this do the trick. He wasn't a religious man by any means, but he was willing to try anything at this point.

"Oh, God, keep it up, Michael."

Oh, fuck, that was it! He could feel it building and his hips slammed into hers once, twice, three more times before he came, leaving him feeling drained instead of sated.

"Indigo said you were wild, but he underestimated your stamina," she purred as they straightened their clothes up. "Think you'll be up for another performance later?"

Another performance? Was she kidding? Michael didn't bother to respond to her, he just shoved her out of the bathroom and locked the door behind her. He turned to lean against it, ignoring the shaking in his body as he tried to make sense of what was happening to him. His abused dick felt like it had been ridden raw and he doubted he was going to be interested in sex for a couple of days.

He stumbled over to the shower and his hand shook as he reached out to turn the faucet on. He felt dirty somehow and he needed to wash that feeling away as quickly as possible.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 7 - 3/30

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:19 pm

DeDe PR – Surprised, huh? Almost everyone is dead in this reality, Maria included.

Spacegirl23 – Maria was very young when she died, just like Liz. In fact, she died not too long after Liz.


Part 7

Maria walked along the sidewalk without a single idea as to where she was going. All she knew was that everything she had known that morning had changed, everyone she knew was either dead or they had moved away, and she hadn't been able to find anything indicating that Michael was there at all.

She had found a little more information on her mother, but only enough to tell her that Amy DeLuca had moved away soon after her daughter's funeral. She was dead in this universe… what was she supposed to do now?

"You look lost, young lady."

Maria turned to find the owner of the voice and her gaze settled on an elderly woman seated in a rocking chair on the front porch of the large house on the corner. She looked around, realizing that while she knew this town like the back of her hand, she was essentially a stranger in this universe. She moved closer to the porch so the woman wouldn't have to shout to be heard.

"You look familiar," she said, leaning forward and squinting through her thick glasses. "Hmm… you look nearly identical to that Maria girl that used to live around these parts."

How was she going to explain her presence here? Think quick, Maria! "Oh, I um, she was my cousin," she blurted out. "Yeah, the family kinda lost touch with each other and I recently took an interest in genealogy." She shrugged. "That's how I ended up here."

"You're not planning to stay long," she guessed as her shrewd gaze moved over the young woman.

"I wasn't planning to, no," Maria admitted. What was she going to do? she wondered. She had no money, no transportation, no idea what her next move should be. "I came in on the early bus, but I'm afraid it took the last of my money to buy the ticket; someone stole everything I had at the last stop."

"This world today," the old woman huffed, shaking her head. "You just can't trust folks the way you could years ago. Don't you worry about finding a place to stay, honey; I've got plenty of room here and I'd enjoy the company." She stood with the help of her cane and motioned for Maria to join her. "You ever done any waitressing?"

"All the time in high school," Maria answered honestly.

"Well, we'll just give Janine a call and I'm sure she'll be happy to have some decent help for a change."

"I don't really know how long I'll be here… it may only be for a short time."

"Don't fret about that, honey; most of my boarders are only around for a few weeks at a time. Some of them are only here for a few days before they move on. And trust me, Janine will appreciate decent help, even if it's only temporary."

"Are you sure?" Maria asked, hoping she was. This would at least help her stabilize her situation long enough to earn enough money to move on to… wherever.

"I'm sure. My name's Grace, but everyone calls me Ms. Gracie and you're welcome to do the same."

"My name's Maria, just like my cousin."

"Fancy that," Ms. Gracie marveled as she shook her head slowly. "Such a tragic story about your cousin… she was taken so suddenly."

"Yes, I discovered that earlier when I was doing some research at the library. It was very… upsetting; I hadn't expected to get here and find out she had passed away and that my m…" She just barely caught herself in time. "My aunt had moved out of town. My cousin and I used to write to each other and she talked about different people she knew here and I had hoped to meet some of them, but everything I've found so far has been pretty discouraging."

"We'll have to talk about this in more detail later. Right now I have to prepare lunch for my boarders and make a phone call to Janine."

"Can I help you with anything?"

"Oh, no, honey, I'm gonna show you to your room and let you get settled and rest a bit. We'll have plenty of time to talk later."

Maria fell back on the bed when Ms. Gracie left her alone in one of the bedrooms and her hands came up to cover her face as everything she had learned that day suddenly caught up with her.

*****

Indigo stretched as he walked back out onto the back deck, squinting against the setting sun when he noticed Michael standing out in the yard. He glanced around and realized that the three women he had invited out for the other man were no longer there. Two of his ladies had called it a night and the third was asleep in his bed after insisting that he should be a good host and go check on his friend.

He watched Michael for several long minutes as he reached for a beer, pulling it from the cooler in the corner and shaking the ice off. That niggling feeling that something was wrong with the other man came back full force when Michael shifted to stare out into the desert, his expression pensive.

Michael Guerin had never been the type of man to ignore or turn away a hot piece of ass but it was obvious from the lack of females in the immediate vicinity that the man had sent three of the hottest women in the city away.

"Yo, Guerin, what're you doin' out there, man?" He motioned for Michael to join him on the deck as he set about firing the grill up again. He frowned when he saw how carefully the man was walking. "Okay, when're you gonna admit that something's not right with you?" he asked, keeping the question casual.

"What the fuck are you talkin' about, Indigo?" Michael snapped as he gingerly settled into one of the deck chairs. Fuck! His dick was so sore it didn't matter which way he moved… every bit of contact just made it hurt worse. He shifted very carefully and bent his legs at the knees as he slouched down, hoping the new position would loosen the crotch of his jeans and take some of the pressure off of his dick.

"I'm talkin' about the fact that you're out here starin' at the fuckin' sand instead of makin' at least one of those three women scream… women that seem to be conspicuously absent, I might add." He paused long enough to go inside and grab the steaks, tossing them on the grill as he turned to look at his friend. "Since when do you send three fine pieces of ass home without drillin' 'em?"

"Hey, I fucked the blonde," Michael interrupted.

"The blonde that had to practically make the first move? Man, that is not normal for you; you do recall that I had to point out that she wanted a piece of you? What'd you do, fuck her just because I brought her to your attention?"

"Back off, Indigo."

The big man leaned back against the railing as he watched the other man. The warning in his voice was clear and his eyes had turned to ice; it was an expression he had seen many times in the field and he knew Michael was reaching the end of his tolerance. He considered the different options at his disposal and he quickly discarded most of them. Michael was displaying an extreme amount of anger, even more than usual, but what concerned him most was the unusual edginess he was observing in the man.

There was really only one way to deal with Guerin when he was like this. He looked down at the claw at the end of his left arm before he reached over with his right hand to remove it and set it on the railing beside him, leaving the stump visible. He felt the fingers of his left hand twitch in anticipation and he shook his head at the odd sensation; even after two years he could still feel movement in a hand that was no longer there.

Michael looked up when Indigo moved to stand next to his chair and he opened his mouth to complain when the man grabbed him by the collar, jerked him to his feet, and punched him. He didn't have time to catch himself because Indigo hit him again and he flew off of the porch to land on the manicured lawn. He rolled out of the way when the man pounced and came close to landing on him.

The entire world had gone crazy and he was stuck in the middle of the insanity, Michael thought as he dodged another punch. He rounded on Indigo when the larger man stepped right into the line of fire and he heard the satisfying sound of bone crunching beneath his fist.

"That's cold, Guerin," Indigo muttered as he took a couple of steps back, his right hand futilely trying to stem the flow of blood from his broken nose. "You just had to go an' bust my damn nose; you always go for that shot."

"You know that and you still missed it; you should've blocked it." He shook his head. "It ain't my fault if you're outta shape. You're the one who started it, so quit your bitchin' and let's finish it." He was practically bouncing on the balls of his feet, fists clenching and unclenching at his sides while he waited for the fight to continue. "C'mon, you old, one-handed bastard," Michael taunted.

He wasn't expecting it when Indigo suddenly moved, his right leg making a wide sweeping motion and knocking the younger man flat on his back. "Who you callin' old?" Indigo asked as he dropped down to sit across from Michael. "I can still kick your ass."

"Yeah? I'm not the one bleedin' all over the place." He bent his legs at the knees and shifted to a more comfortable position as he stared up at the sky.

"Y'know, I'm not askin' you to get all warm an' fuzzy here, Guerin; I just wanna know what the fuck's wrong with you."

"Nothin'."

Indigo snorted and immediately winced at the pain that exploded in his nose. "How long have we known each other, man? Somethin' ain't right with you."

"I don't know what it is, okay?"

"You think it's somethin' medical?" He was aware of Michael's aversion to doctors of any kind so he doubted the man would consider seeing one no matter what was wrong with him. "You want me to put a call in to the old man? He's probably got a doctor you could - "

"Fuck no!" The barest hint of a smirk passed over his tense features. "Besides, I already pissed him off once this week." He shook his head.

Indigo pulled his shirt over his head and used it to wipe the blood from his face. "You didn't answer my question, asshole."

"What part of 'fuck no' did you not understand?"

"Do you think it's somethin' medical?"

"Don't know." He brought his hands up to rub his face. Why had he even volunteered that much information? he wondered. He couldn't exactly talk about what was bothering him because he didn't really have a grasp on it himself. It didn't matter if it was medical or not, he couldn't exactly allow anyone to check him out, not unless he wanted to expose his secret and live the rest of his life as a lab rat, confined to a cage.

Indigo stood up after several minutes of silence, knowing that Michael wasn't going to offer any more information. "Alright, I'm gonna go see if I can salvage those steaks, and after that I'm gonna see if I can put my nose back together." He slapped the man's knee as he stood, wishing there was something he could say to put his mind at ease. Whatever was bothering him went too deep for him to share and Indigo knew from personal experience just how badly that could eat away at a man's soul.

Michael didn't bother responding to the other man, his mind preoccupied with his current predicament. He was an alien, alone on a planet that had never really wanted him; if his true identity were ever revealed it would be even worse. What if he had managed to contract some sort of alien-related illness? What if he was sick and the only cure for whatever was wrong with him was on another planet?

Great. His internal voice had turned sarcastic. He had lived his entire life alone, never forming attachments of any kind, but he had never delved any deeper into his reasoning. The decision to avoid deeper involvement with anyone had been an unconscious one but it was one that had served him well. Now though, he had to wonder if having someone who knew the truth would make a difference. With no way to diagnose what was wrong, no one he could talk to about it, there was a very good chance that he would die the same way he had lived… alone.

*****

Ms. Gracie called out a greeting when her newest boarder stepped into the kitchen where the old woman was cleaning up after dinner. The young woman had been there for a few days and each evening after her shift at the restaurant she came in and insisted on helping with the dishes.

She wondered what the topic would be that night; each evening before turning in for the night they sat out on the porch together and Maria would ask questions about her cousin and her cousin's friends. The young woman was quieter than usual as they cleaned up and it was easy to see that her mind was elsewhere.

As Maria stood on the porch later that night her gaze kept straying to the north. An odd restlessness had settled over her within the past couple of days and she couldn't shake the feeling that it was time to go. She didn't know where she was supposed to go, she just knew that she needed to head north.

"You're not gonna be here much longer," Ms. Gracie mused quietly, observing the young woman's unsettled movements.

"No, it's time for me to move on." Maria sighed as she stared into the night sky. "It seems like everyone my cousin mentioned has moved away or passed away." She paused and swallowed hard as she prepared to ask about the one person she had yet to mention. "Do you know anything about Michael Guerin?"

"Good Lord, honey, why would you want to know anything about that delinquent?" She shook her head. "Michael Guerin… now there's a name I haven't heard in quite a while. I'd be surprised if that one was still alive, and if he is he's probably in some prison somewhere." She made a sound of disapproval. "That boy was trouble from the very beginning. He grew up in the orphanage outside of town; no family, no friends, no stability, and no future to speak of." She cocked her head to one side and studied her young boarder curiously. "What's made you ask about him?"

"Oh, I heard some people talking about him today so I was just wondering if he was still around; he sounded like a very… colorful person," Maria lied. She had asked around about him, but the general consensus was that he was no good and it sounded like no one expected him to do anything with his life. Most of them seemed to be of the same opinion, certain that he was either dead or rotting in prison for some criminal act they were sure he had committed. The other thing they all seemed to have in common was that no one had any idea where he would have gone. "So, my cousin and her friends weren't associated with him at all?"

"No, not at all." She sounded horrified at the prospect that anyone decent would associate with him. "Like I said, that boy was trouble from day one."

"No one tried to help him?" Maria just couldn't wrap her mind around the idea that somewhere in this universe Michael was alone, cast out of society, and had no ties to the people who should have been influential in his life.

"There are some people who don't want help no matter how much it's offered, and he was one of them. When he turned seventeen he took off for parts unknown; I don't think anyone knows where he went when he left here."

Maria leaned against the wide column next to the steps and rubbed her eyes. How was she going to find Michael when there was no information on him and no one had any idea where he might be now? It was taking every bit of strength she had to keep her mind focused on the here and now, to keep it from constantly going over the events that had transpired and led her to this point. She knew if she let herself think about her Michael and what had happened to him she would lose it completely, so she had to keep herself focused on her reason for being there.

"Do you know where you're going next?"

She turned back to face Ms. Gracie when the old woman spoke. "I'm not sure. I'm just kinda following my instincts at this point."

"You'll be leaving soon." It was a statement, not a question.

"Tomorrow afternoon. There's a bus that leaves at noon, heading north." She shook her head as she glanced back at Ms. Gracie. "For now that's the plan; I'll just see where that takes me."

*****

Michael flopped back on the bed in his hotel room, his eyes locked on the ceiling above him. His fingers drummed out a staccato rhythm on his chest as he ignored the television droning on from across the room. He had been in Santa Fe for five days now; he had passed the restless stage and moved on to edgy a couple of days ago. He should have moved on by now but something was holding him there, the feeling that he was waiting for something to happen. He didn't like that feeling of expectation and he didn't like surprises, but he hadn't been able to do anything to get rid of it.

Under normal circumstances he would've just gone out and gotten laid and buried those feelings, but he still wasn't feeling right. The nightmares weren't constant but they were still there, lurking in the corners of his mind, creeping out at the most unexpected times and bringing fear with them. He hadn't bothered to initiate sex with anyone since that day at Indigo's place, not interested in going through another experience like that.

His right hand shifted down to settle protectively over his crotch as he recalled how sore he had been afterwards. He had never in his life had to work so hard to get off or gotten so little enjoyment out of a sexual encounter. He had blocked out those few disturbing seconds when he had felt like he was staring at a stranger as he had glanced at his own reflection, refusing to consider what it might mean.

He was eventually going to have to get past this mental block because he couldn't just stop having sex indefinitely. His dick hadn't bothered to show the slightest bit of interest in anything the last couple of days… not the strippers at the clubs he had gone to with Indigo the past few nights, not the women Indigo had invited out to his house, and not even the woman-on-woman action on the porn channel, and he wasn't sure whether he should be relieved or pissed off. He certainly wasn't eager for a repeat of his last encounter, but at the same time he couldn't just give up fucking either.

Besides, he still had a point to prove to that rich bitch from the parking lot. He raised up to rest his weight on his elbows and stared down his body. "You're gonna have to get over this sooner or later," he muttered. "I'd prefer sooner." He shook his head and fell back on the bed when his dick didn't give the slightest twitch. "Fine, suit yourself."

He needed to pull himself out of this slump, but so far nothing had worked. He didn't know what exactly was causing it but it wasn't getting any better. He didn't think it was getting any worse either, but without an actual diagnosis he didn't know how to go about beginning to fix it. He was literally and figuratively stuck in limbo, and he just wanted whatever was going to happen to hurry up and happen so he could get on with his life.

He glanced at his watch and pushed himself to his feet. He had to meet Indigo in a couple of hours for another long night of drinking, women, and getting laid. Well, he thought, irritated, one of them was getting laid but it wasn't him.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 8 - 4/6

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:29 am

Spacegirl23 – The M&M meeting will take place much more quickly than you think. And while Michael is still in his “sexual phase”.

DeDe PR – You’ll have to read until the end to see where Maria is going to live.

Eva – We try to write original or complex fics so glad that you like this one.

Flamehair – Thanks for reading.


Part 8

Maria woke with a jolt when the bus pulled into a stop, the large vehicle rocking gently as it made the wide turn. As it slowed and rolled to a stationary position near the doors of the bus station she sat up and stretched. The feeling that she had been having, the push to go north and follow some instinct suddenly felt stronger as she stepped down off of the bus.

Whatever was causing the feeling was here, she was sure of it. She turned to look at the driver when he stepped down off of the bus. "What stop is this?" she asked.

"Santa Fe," he answered as he bent over to open up the storage compartments where the luggage was stored. "We'll be here for an hour while we fuel up and give folks a chance to rest a bit before we get movin' again."

"Thank you." She grabbed the small bag that held her few belongings inside and looked around as she debated which way to go. The station was in a rundown part of the city and a lot of the buildings in the area didn't look like they were currently inhabited. She walked inside to the ticket counter to get directions to the downtown area, figuring that would probably be the best place to start.

She declined the clerk's offer to call a taxi, not wanting to waste what precious little money she had when she could keep it and walk. She lost track of time as she walked along the streets, following the woman's directions into the heart of the city. There was little activity going on around her and she stopped to rest when she reached a small park where benches surrounded a water fountain.

She closed her eyes for a moment, physically weary from her travels and mentally exhausted from the efforts of controlling her thoughts. The vision of Michael's face as he had drawn his last breath surfaced, threatening her sanity and she quickly forced it back down, fearing that if she didn't she would collapse right there, in a public place. She thought about Kyle's ramblings about Buddha… breathing and focusing on something to meditate. Maybe she should've paid a little more attention to him when he had gone on and on about his enlightenment.

She tried to follow what she could remember of his instructions so she could pull her thoughts together and focus on her mission. She was there to save Michael, she was there to save Michael, she was there to save Michael… she repeated the mantra over and over again, and eventually she began to feel a calm settle over her once more. She could have easily fallen asleep right then and there but the feeling that her reason for being in Santa Fe was close by became insistent and she stood to look around, frantically searching the area. She wondered if it could be some sort of guidance from the Granolith, maybe providing her with an internal map of sorts. Could it be directing her in the direction she needed to go? She didn't know but she had no choice but to follow the pull, to seek out whatever she was supposed to find here.

*****

Michael was slouched down in a chair, long legs stretched out under the table he had been sitting at for the past couple of hours. He was barely paying any attention to the women onstage, his thoughts focused on the newspaper insert lying open on the table in front of him. He circled one of the articles detailing the sales conditions for the motorcycle pictured in the ad and flipped to the next page.

He propped his elbow on the edge of the table and rested his chin in his hand as he scanned over the listings inside. He reached for the bottle of non-alcoholic beer and froze when he realized that his hand was shaking. He slammed the bottle back down on the table and he placed his hand flat on the scarred surface, forcing the tremors to cease. He sat up straight and held his other hand out in front of him, feeling unsettled when he saw that it was trembling too. Fear seized him as he stared at the physical evidence that something was wrong with him. He had almost started to believe that maybe he wasn't sick; he hadn't really had any major episodes since the fiasco with that woman at Indigo's house. The nightmares were still occurring at odd times and the feeling that he was off was still there, but it hadn't been quite as intense as it had been several days before.

Michael's gaze was locked on his hands, unable to look away when the trembling began to get worse and he realized he was losing control of them. He was terrified of the possibilities as he watched the tremors escalate and wild thoughts began to cross his mind. Maybe it wasn't an alien disease as he had first feared; maybe it was a human disease. There were diseases that caused this sort of physical response, right? Brain tumors, nervous system disorders… maybe it was some form of cancer? It could be something he had caught while serving his tours overseas… there were all sorts of things in the jungles, diseases and epidemics released when humans encroached on nature and stuck their noses into things they had no business interfering in. How many times had he and his unit been sent into areas just like that without benefit of protection? He hadn't been sick a day in his life, but there was a first time for everything.

He suddenly felt dizzy and as he shoved himself to his feet the room shifted crazily. He made his way to the back of the bar and pushed his way into the men's room, locking the door behind him and leaning back against it. He kept one hand on the wall as he walked to the sink, doing his best to maintain his balance until he could brace his hands on the white porcelain.

His hands were shaking badly as he turned the faucet on and leaned down to splash cold water on his face. He grabbed a handful of paper towels from the dispenser and dried his face before looking at himself in the mirror above the sink. The feeling that he was staring at a stranger came over him once more and he backed away from the mirror, hands still shaking as he unlocked the door and rushed out. He hurried out of the bar, barreling through the side door and stumbling along the alley that ran next to the building.

He leaned back against the wall and bent over to brace his hands on his knees. His head dropped forward, chin almost touching his chest as he tried to bring his breathing back under control. His heartbeat was erratic, his palms were sweating, and as the dizzy feeling swept over him once more he feared that he was going to lose his lunch.

He had spent countless months in Africa where the risk of death by diseases he couldn't pronounce, a kill shot by a sniper or a soldier fighting for the opposing military, and death at the hands of rebel forces were all very good possibilities. Had he really managed to survive all of that so he could come home and die of some alien/human-related illness?

He was a soldier, a fighter, and he had long ago accepted that he would probably die a violent death, either in a fight or on a battlefield. Dying from some sort of alien sickness or cancer, or something equally as horrible would just be too unfair. That was no way for a soldier to die; he deserved to go out fighting.

"Michael!"

He pushed away from the wall, barely registering the sound of a woman's voice calling his name.

"Oh my God, Michael! It's you!"

He was in the process of lifting his head when a blurry figure suddenly barreled into him and in his uncoordinated state the woman's slight weight easily took him to the ground. He was trying to get his bearings when she started kissing him and crying, rambling incoherently about him being dead and then not being dead.

He let it continue for several minutes and in a completely uncharacteristic display of human behavior his arms slipped around her and he accepted comfort from the physical contact. As a rule he avoided contact unless it was sexual and he blamed the lapse on his most recent reminder that something was wrong with him.

He suddenly realized that the tremors had stopped and he was no longer feeling dizzy, and he surged to his feet, dragging the woman up with him. He held her at arms length and his dark gaze swept over her, swiftly cataloging her assets.

She was blond, cute, and a bit on the short side, but she was curved in all the right places and he'd be willing to bet that her sassy mouth could be put to some very interesting uses. His eyes suddenly narrowed and he reined his thoughts in as he remembered that she had called him by name. He rarely had any recollection of the women he screwed but he was pretty sure that if he'd fucked her he'd remember it. His gaze strayed back to her full lips and when the tip of her tongue slipped out to moisten them his dick twitched in interest. Oh, yeah, he'd remember her, he thought.

Maria watched him as she tried to bring herself under control. Logically she knew that he wasn't her Michael, that it wasn't possible, but emotionally it was more difficult. He was Michael, but at the same time he wasn't, and it was proving to be very hard to make her heart understand the difference when she was still trying to grasp it herself. She drank in the sight of him, unable to tear her gaze away from him as she searched his features for similarities with her Michael. His hair was short, not military short, but it wasn't as long as Michael's had been the past few years. He wore cargo pants and a tee shirt under a leather jacket. Her Michael had preferred jeans and shirts most of the time. This man had a small scar under his left eye and she wondered how he had gotten it, who had hurt him, and when it had happened. At the thought of him being hurt her mind automatically went back to Hank and how her Michael had spent years with the abusive monster. She was doing her best to control her emotions, to stop any further tears from tracking down her face, but she was having a hard time stopping them.

Michael shook her hands off of him, wondering when she had wrapped her small hands around his wrists and how he hadn't noticed, and he backed away from her. There was something mesmerizing about her and he couldn't let anyone have that kind of control over him. She was going to be trouble, he could feel it, and he had to get away from her.

Maria frowned when he took several steps back before turning away to leave her alone in the alley. "Don't you dare walk away from me, Michael Guerin…" When he didn't stop she knew she was going to have to get his attention, say or do something that would make him come back. She had to strike hard and fast because it was easy to see that this man had very little patience or tolerance unless it suited him. She tapped her right foot in irritation when he continued to walk away, wondering if dropping the Czechoslovakian bomb was a good idea. But, since he apparently had no intention of changing his mind about listening to her she decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. "Must be difficult being an alien refugee from Roswell, New Mexico."

He froze and turned to look at her, immediately pissed off by her know-it-all tone and her confidant stance.

All right, this was working, she thought. Relieved with her little success, Maria wondered if mentioning something specific to Antar would trigger a reaction… just so she could assert what this Michael really knew about his past. "Oh, I know everything there is to know about you, Michael. Or should I call you Rath?"

Michael visibly bristled when she called him Rath; merely hearing the name pass her lips made him crazy and he didn't know why. He stalked back to her and grabbed her arm, his fingers gripping her hard enough to leave bruises as he dragged her to a deserted backstreet. Reaching his destination he shoved her up against a dingy brick wall and pinned her there with his forearm pressing into her windpipe, cutting off her ability to breathe. He leaned in closer to her, his expression menacing as he snarled threateningly into her face, intending to scare the hell out of her. A wave of dizziness washed over him and he was forced to back away from her so he could lean over and catch his breath.

He cursed his bad luck and wondered who or what he had pissed off to deserve this shit. Having one of these episodes in a back alley, in front of this girl who already knew more than she should about him, had the potential of being detrimental to his existence; the knowledge she possessed was dangerous and she could destroy the life he had built. Hell, she could probably kill him right now and he wouldn't be able to defend himself in his weakened state. Killed by a human girl! Michael snorted. Talk about karma, he thought, shaking his head. After years of using women for sex, his use-once-and-throw-away policy in regards to them was going to come back and bite him on the ass. Just the thought that he could be killed by a human girl seemed like some ironic form of divine justice.

After a few minutes he straightened up once more and leveled his angry gaze at her. She was supposed to be afraid and try to run away from him, not still be standing there watching him and waiting to see what he would do next.

"This isn't something we should talk about in public," Maria said, conscious of the lack of privacy and the possibility that they could be overheard.

"We talk here and you tell me what I wanna know or I'll kill you!" he snarled. The words felt wrong even as he spoke them but he ignored the feeling.

Maria watched him, her green eyes scanning over his intimidating features as she shook her head. "You'd never be able to kill me, never. Just try."

"Don't tempt me, bitch." Michael slammed his hands against the wall on either side of her head, satisfied when the unexpected action caused her to jump. His hands closed into fists as he leaned back, certain that the only reason he hadn't gotten physical with her and forced her to talk was because he didn't need to draw any unwanted attention to them. He glanced around as he checked his pockets, making sure he had his keys with him. He wasn't about to admit that she was right, but he needed a secluded place for this conversation to happen.

She hissed in pain when his hand clamped down over her arm once more, his steely grip settling over the same place he had already managed to bruise. When he didn't so much as pause at the sound she made, she had to remind herself that despite the similarities he wasn't her Michael. She was counting on her instincts to prove her right, certain that even though he was different, he had that same core of integrity and strength that her Michael had always had.

He manhandled her along the backstreet, back through the alley, and out onto the main street in front of a seedy-looking bar. He released his hold on her when they reached a motorcycle and he motioned at it as he swung his right leg over the seat and settled into the leather saddle. "Get on," he ordered as he slid a pair of mirrored sunglasses on. "And don't bother runnin'."

Maria rolled her eyes at his authoritative tone. "Just so you know, if this weren't a matter of such crucial importance, I'd run just to make you chase after me."

"Go ahead, but if I have to chase after you I'm gonna be fuckin' pissed off and I'm not gonna be pleasant when I catch you."

"You haven't been pleasant yet," she muttered as she climbed on the bike behind him. "But, far be it from me to be the one to piss you off." She welcomed his arrogant attitude and his rude disposition because it gave her a place to focus her attention and it kept her from losing control of her emotions.

The motorcycle roared to life, drowning out her thoughts and her arms slid around his waist to avoid being thrown into the street when he pulled away from the curb. Her hands slid under his jacket unintentionally and she couldn't help but notice that his body was very toned… more than her Michael. That thought had her shaking her head. Good Lord, she was going to be certifiable soon, with the constant yo-yo her mind was mimicking as it kept pushing her thoughts back and forth between her Michael and this Michael. But she couldn't help it; he wasn't her Michael. She didn't know why the Granolith had sent her to this place… there had to be a reason, but she had no idea what it was. Why hadn't it just sent her back in time? Why send her to a completely different universe where the version of Michael she had encountered was an ass? She had no idea where he was taking her and even though the differences between this version of Michael and hers were so obvious, she wasn't afraid of him or concerned for her safety.

This man was raw, unrefined, cold, and emotionless, and she wondered if her Michael would have turned out the same without the influence of her and their friends. When he finally stopped the motorcycle and the dust settled she looked around and realized that he had taken them out of Santa Fe. What surprised her was the location he had chosen to extract information from her.

The church was old; small, but well-kept, and surrounded in all directions by miles and miles of lonely desert. She looked up at the two large juniper trees that stood on either side of the entrance to the adobe mission. Greenery in the middle of the desert seemed to defy explanation, but it was absolutely breathtaking. Two bell towers rose up on either side of the old building, the bells still intact and their ropes swaying gently in the soft breeze. Small white crosses stood at the tops of the bell towers and a larger one stood in the middle of the manicured path that led up to the white double doors. A statue of some saint, carved from white stone, stood in the middle of the yard, hands outstretched as if welcoming passersby inside.

She was leaning over to look at some tiny flowers growing along the front wall of the mission when she was roughly pulled off of the motorcycle and practically dragged up to the mission's entrance. For just a brief moment she had allowed the serenity of the setting to lull her thoughts away from the task at hand and she had forgotten her surly companion.

"Hurry the fuck up," he snapped.

His irritated tone and boorish behavior quickly reminded her of her reason for being there and she jerked her arm out of his painful grasp. "It is completely unnecessary for you to drag me around like - "

Michael jerked the door on the left side open as he leaned forward and grabbed her once more, shoving her inside ahead of him. She rounded on him and her right hand came up to slap him but he caught her wrist in an iron grip, pinning it between them as he pulled her up against his body. "Get your ass inside before your big mouth catches someone's attention."

"We're in the middle of the damn desert!" she yelled. "There's no one around to hear anything!"

"Yeah, maybe you should've thought about that before you came out here with me… you don't know me. I could do any damn thing I wanted to you and you couldn't stop me." He nodded, pleased when she fell silent. "No comeback this time?"

"Go ahead, Michael, hurt me," she taunted, growing tired of his threats. She moved back as far away as his grasp would allow and sparks flew from her angry green eyes. "Stop making idle threats, you bastard! If you think you can hurt me then go ahead, you have my permission."

Michael released her and shoved her away, pissed beyond belief that she had enough backbone to challenge him. "I don't need your fuckin' permission!" he yelled, slamming his fists down against the back of a pew. Fuck, that hurt!

"We're in a church," she hissed. "Watch your mouth!"

Watch his mouth?! Michael repeated silently. "What're you, my mother?"

Maria laughed, her tone filled with irony. "Your mother? Oh, no, trust me, that definition is so far removed from the truth that it's not even funny."

He shook his head, trying to connect the dots and figure out how exactly they had gone from him threatening her to this suddenly confusing conversation. Somehow he had completely lost control of the situation and he had to get it back before she was allowed to confuse him any further.

"Look, I'm not interested in this… this… whatever this bullshit is! Just tell me what you've got to say so - "

"You're so impatient." She looked around the interior of the mission, taking in the warm, comforting feelings that it produced. It was easy to see that everything inside had been carved by hand and it had been well cared for over the century that it had been standing. She drew in a deep breath, once again letting the serenity of the place wash over her as she collected her thoughts.

While she was busy calming herself Michael was in the process of experiencing a major meltdown. His hands curled over the back of the pew in front of him, his knuckles white from the strain. The sound of wood splintering drew his attention and he looked down, frowning when he realized that he was unintentionally damaging it. He was gonna do more than that if she didn't start talking soon. As if she had read his mind she suddenly turned to look at him, her expression oddly calm as she began to tell a story that he wasn't expecting.

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ArchAngel1973
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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 9 - 4/13

Postby ArchAngel1973 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:57 am

Flamehair – This is Michael. Chances are that he will think that Maria is insane.

DeDe Pr – Michael will need some time to believe Maria. He never had contact or link to anything alien and suddenly, there’s this girl who says that she has all the answers?

Spacegirl23 – There are various reasons for Michael’s conditions, the question is, which one will be think is causing his problems?


Part 9

"Once upon a time there was a planet called Antar and it was ruled by a king named Zan. Every king must have his queen and King Zan was no different; his queen's name was Ava. Rath was the king's second-in-command, his right hand, and he was engaged to the king's sister, Princess Vilandra. These four individuals were called the Royal Four." She snorted derisively as she paced, muttering the next words almost to herself. "Here on Earth it was to be revealed as an evil thing called Destiny."

Michael's eyebrows shot up in surprise when he heard the anger in her voice. He was beginning to suspect that he had a delusional lunatic on his hands and the anger in her voice as she spoke of a mythical place and extraterrestrial royalty only seemed to confirm his suspicions.

"Anyway," she said, collecting herself, "Antar had an enemy… a powerful and devious enemy named Khivar. It was decided that they should enter into peace talks with Khivar, but unknown to the king and his second-in-command, the princess had met Khivar and fallen in love with him. Their love story was the stuff legends are made of; she betrayed her brother, her fiancé, her entire planet… all for him, and it ended in a bloodbath."

Uh-huh, just as he suspected - she was certifiable. Michael rolled his eyes and wondered how she had gotten her science fiction and romance novels mixed up.

Maria went on with her tale, caught up in the retelling and oblivious to his disbelieving expression. "The Royal Four were killed and Antar fell into Khivar's hands, but thanks to the Queen Mother, or maybe the scientists, the essence… the souls, of the Royal Four, were somehow captured and injected into human-Antarian clones. My personal opinion is that it's more likely that there was some powerful, pain-in-the-ass alien that thought it was some sort of god or something - and was probably worshipped as such - that was quite possibly responsible for creating them." She shook her head and glanced at him. "Okay, that's personal conjecture because we never had any proof of that."

"We?" Michael widened his stance and crossed his arms over his chest. What she was saying was definitely interesting, but was there any possibility that there was some truth to it? "That would be you and who? The voices in your head?"

She frowned at him, easily hearing the mocking tone in his voice. "You didn't just appear on this planet, dumbass, and you can deny it all you want, but you're not completely human."

"No, I'm…" He tapped his chin thoughtfully with the forefinger of his right hand. "Who am I in this little fantasy world you've created? I'm the king and you're the queen?"

"What? No, you were Rath, the second-in-command, and I'm completely human, from right here on good old planet Earth." She could see that she had his attention once more, recognizing the look of intense concentration on his face as he debated the validity of her story. "Look, once the Royal Four had been cloned they were in danger so a plan was put into place to protect them until the time came for them to return to Antar. They were sent to a planet far away, accompanied by teachers and bodyguards, as well as the Granolith, a very mysterious object. But something happened on that fateful trip, something terrible, and their ship crash-landed here on Earth… the big crash in July 1947, in Roswell, New Mexico? You must've heard of it - you're not stupid or a fool, so I know you must've considered it."

"You're fuckin' insane," Michael muttered, starting to pace agitatedly. "You show up outta nowhere and start spoutin' a bunch of bullshit about me bein' a clone and havin' a past life and you expect me to believe it." She had obviously escaped from a mental institution or a psychiatric hospital somewhere, because there was no way this was possible.

"Look, the Royal Four were placed in some sort of incubation pods on the ship and after it crash-landed the survivors hid the pods in a cave along with the Granolith. We assume the survivors were captured because they never returned to the chamber and the pods remained there for years until they were ready to hatch."

Michael jumped on that. "Wait, there are others like me? Where are they?" Could they heal him and get rid of whatever illness he had come down with? He grabbed her roughly, his big hands wrapping around her upper arms and hauling her close to him. "Tell me where they are," he demanded.

Her expression quickly changed from surprised to sad and she wished she didn't have to be the one to tell him about the others. "They're all dead, Michael. Max and Isabel - the human names given to King Zan and Princess Vilandra - died in a car accident with their adoptive parents when they were nine years old. Tess - the human name given to Queen Ava - died in her pod… she never hatched." Not that she regretted that one.

"How do you know all that?" He shook her hard enough to rattle her teeth. "What's your role in all this?"

Maria sighed and took a deep breath before starting the next part of the story much as she had started the first part. "Once upon a time a young girl named Liz was shot in her father's restaurant called the Crashdown and she was healed by a young alien named Max Evans - "

"Wait! I thought you said he was dead?" Michael asked, confused. He remembered that shooting; the girl at the diner hadn't survived her wounds.

"Just listen for a few minutes, will you?" she asked impatiently. "From that moment on, their lives were in utter chaos; the F.B.I. maintains a Special Unit that hunts aliens and they captured Max and tortured him, Max - a future version of him - used the Granolith and came back because Earth, in his timeline, had fallen into Khivar's hands and he came back to prevent it from happening. Tess became the traitor and she killed a human named Alex by mind warping him to death so she could go back to Antar with Max's child, the heir to the throne. Her actions set things into motion and we were forced to go into hiding, to run from the U.S. Army and the F.B.I. Special Unit."

Michael shook his head, not understanding what she was telling him. First these people, or aliens, whatever, were dead and in her next breath she was telling him they were alive. Which was it?

"The Granolith, the object that was sent with the Royal Four, is capable of time travel, but it is also capable of travel through dimensions. The story I just told you, where we were on the run, is from another dimension." She stepped back out of his grasp that had loosened, looking him straight in the eye. "What I didn't tell you is that I came from that parallel universe and I was Michael's girlfriend. We've been together for the past five years…" She swallowed hard and reworded her statement. "We were together for the past five years, we were in love, and when he had no choice but to leave Roswell and everything he knew behind because he and the others were being hunted, I ran with him. We went through everything together… I was there when he got sick," she said, lost in the memories and missing the look of surprise that crossed his features. "I was there the first time he was forced to kill a man and he was so lost - "

"Weakling," Michael muttered under his breath. He wasn't expecting it when her open palm cracked against the side of his face and within the space of a heartbeat he had pinned her to the wall, his right hand curled around her throat. "Don't you ever do that again."

"Don't call him weak," she screamed, but the words came out on a gasping breath. "You have no idea what he went through." She reached up to rub her throat where his fingers had been pressing against her windpipe, choking her.

Michael took two steps back, staring at his hand as if it belonged to someone else.

"I was with him when he needed to escape from his abusive foster father… and I was with him when he took his last breath."

He took several more steps back, leaning against the nearest pew as he studied her. He was stunned by all of her revelations… clones, a planet called Antar, the Royal Four, the Granolith, time travel, other dimensions, a double and his girlfriend. He felt like he was in some sort of alternate reality or something and he was trapped there with some crazy girl who claimed to be from a parallel universe. There was no way this shit was for real; she was obviously off her medications… or, she had seen him use his powers and she had created this completely fictional world in her mind and she was starting to believe it.

Maria's eyes widened in shock when he stood up and silently walked out of the mission; the heavy door swung shut behind him as he stalked down the path to his motorcycle. She shoved the door open and ran after him, wondering why he hadn't said anything. That wasn't the reaction she had been expecting and she had to get to him before he had the chance to leave her there. "Michael, where're you going?" She grabbed his right arm with both hands, hanging on when he tried to shake her off. "You can't - "

Michael stopped mid-stride and turned back to look at her, dark eyes blazing as he glared at her. "I don't have time for chicks suffering from mental instabilities!" he shouted. "You're obviously deranged and you belong in an asylum somewhere." He shoved her away from him. "Get the fuck away from me!" He turned and started back towards the motorcycle. "I'm goin' home, havin' a cold drink, watchin' somethin' totally mind-numbing on TV, and you're gonna get lost."

Maria watched him, shocked. He wouldn't just walk away from her like that! She chased after him again when she realized that he was going to just leave her there, maneuvering so that she was in front of him, blocking his path. Before he had time to protest, she jumped up against him, wrapping her arms around his wide shoulders and kissing him. She forced her mind completely open, hoping that the flashes worked the same way in his universe as they worked in hers.

Michael was surprised by her actions and he didn't have time to put his mental walls up. Something in him forced him to let go, to let a connection that he didn't understand establish itself, and he allowed his arms to come around her so he could hold her against his body.

Confusing images, scenes that he couldn't recall, flashes of memory that weren't his, began to hit him hard and fast and he felt his heart rate triple. He could see himself, only it wasn't him… sleeping with this crazy girl… working together at the Crashdown - a place he had never set foot in, much less worked there… fighting in a car and her accusing him of kidnapping her… them arguing in a hotel room that really did look like a 'porno version of Aladdin'… her holding him while he cried… watching her sing in a bar or maybe it was a nightclub… him handing her some kind of project, a napkin holder… him clumsily learning how to dance and showing up at the prom just to make her smile… them making love…

Feelings and emotions that were unwanted and didn't belong to him assaulted him and he broke the kiss and shoved her away, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He felt disoriented, his mind filled with thoughts, images, and memories that weren't his and he wanted her to take them back.

"Michael?" Maria watched him carefully, realizing too late that he hadn't experienced the flashes before today. She hadn't expected that and it was too late to take it back, but she wouldn't even if she could. He had to accept the truth before she could enlist his help for whatever purpose the Granolith had in mind when it had chosen to send her to a place where she would cross paths with this version of Michael.

He had to leave and he had to get away from her. She wasn't good for his sanity and she knew things that she shouldn't know about him. He needed to find peace and he needed to be alone before he would be able to do that.

"You can't just leave me here," Maria insisted when he moved around her, avoiding touching her. "This isn't my world and you're the only one I know here."

Michael threw his right leg over the seat and settled down as his thoughts ran rampantly through his mind. It didn't really matter whether what she said was true or not, if she started running her big mouth to others about him it could cause him a lot of trouble. He wasn't worried about her, he insisted silently. He just didn't want her giving away any information that could threaten his existence.

"Get on," he barked angrily. He gritted his teeth and his entire body tensed when she slid on behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist.

An hour later he pulled up in front of Indigo's house, parking the motorcycle and dismounting before grabbing her arm and dragging her up the driveway behind him. The door opened as his booted feet stepped up on the porch and he felt relief wash over him when he saw the big man standing there.

"Indigo, buddy, I need a favor."

Indigo's gaze swept over the short blond trying to get free of the man's grasp. "What's up, Guerin?"

"I need a safe place to leave this wildcat for a while." He hauled her up onto the porch and shoved her towards the other man. "I'll be back for her later." He jogged back down the steps and practically ran to the motorcycle without another word.

The big man standing in the doorway held his right hand out, head cocked to one side as he waited to see if the young woman would take it. "Indigo Jeffries," he introduced himself when her much smaller hand slid into his.

"Maria DeLuca," she said, following him inside when he motioned towards the entrance.

"Guerin doesn't usually drop one of his jobs off at my door and I don't recall seein' him ever look as rattled as he did just now."

"One of his jobs?"

Now he was really confused. "You're not under his protection?"

"Under his protection?" Maria shook her head, wondering how she was going to be able to get information about Michael out of this man.

"Did I just hear Michael?"

Maria's head snapped around when she heard a perky feminine voice speak up from behind Indigo. She hadn't considered that Michael might be involved with someone else in this universe.

Indigo turned to look at Cindy; the woman that had shown up earlier that afternoon with his ladies, hoping for another round of sex with Michael. He felt Maria tense up when she got a good look at the big-chested, blue-eyed, platinum-blond woman that obviously didn't know when to shut up.

"Did you come to get a piece of Michael too?" she asked, directing the question to Maria. "His dick must be legendary; I'm telling you, that man knows how to fuck." She continued to rave to the woman next to her, oblivious to the angry, red flush that was creeping up into her face. "He's got stamina you wouldn't believe; I lost count of how many orgasms I had."

Maria stood frozen, horrified when Cindy started going into great detail and she realized that the only option was to shut her up. That was the last straw, she thought as the woman continued to ramble on about how great sex with Michael was.

Indigo wasn't expecting it when the little blond launched herself at Cindy, getting a handful of the woman's off-the-shoulder blouse and turning it into a piece of shredded material before he could grab her. The two women landed on the floor and he just barely intercepted Maria's fist before it connected with the loud-mouthed blonde's nose. It took a considerable effort to pull Maria away from Cindy before she could do serious damage. "Okay, why don't we take this to the gym," he suggested, nodding at one of his ladies when she heard the commotion and came running inside. He was struggling to hold onto the irate woman as he backed out of the room, shouting instructions to be heard over her screaming.

He didn't release her until they were inside the gym and he turned to set the electronic locks he had installed so she couldn't get out until he was sure his orders had been followed and the women had cleared out. For the moment she was surprisingly silent, but he quickly realized she was studying the keypad next to the door, eyes narrowed as she tried to decipher the complex symbols on the keys. While she was otherwise occupied he crossed the room and grabbed a pair of boxing gloves, holding them out to her when he joined her once more. "Put these on."

"What?"

"You've got some serious anger issues, and I think we can avoid any further violence if you just focus it right there." He turned to point at the heavy bag suspended from four short chains that were attached to a hook anchored in one of the exposed ceiling beams in the center of the room.

"I do not have anger issues," she spat angrily as she rounded on him.

"Hey, one-handed man here," he joked, holding his arms up in surrender. "Obviously you an' Guerin have history, otherwise I can't imagine that you would've gone on the attack like that." He reached out to help her tie the laces up on the gloves and walked her over to the heavy bag, moving to one side to hold it still while she took a swing at it.

Picturing the perky blonde's face while punching the heavy bag was actually very cathartic, and Maria quickly fell into a rhythm. She forgot about the man Michael had dumped her on in favor of letting her thoughts loose and hitting the bag as hard as she could. This Michael was obviously different from hers, he wasn't her Michael, but despite that she didn't want him to be with another woman. It wasn't acceptable in any way, shape, or form; any woman was a threat and would be perceived as a rival.

Indigo grunted when she hit the bag particularly hard and he took a step back to maintain his balance. He was intrigued by this small woman and he wondered what Michael's relationship with her was, because it was obvious that she wasn't one of his jobs. Not to mention her earlier confusion when he had asked her about that very thing had pretty much confirmed that.

"So, why don't you tell me about yourself," Indigo said when she finally started to wind down. Maybe he could get some information about his mysterious friend from her. "Or we could talk about Guerin."

"Michael and I…" She smiled and shook her head when she noticed how intent his expression was. "Our pasts are connected; it's kinda complicated."

"It must've been quite a while since you've seen each other," he said, hoping to get something out of her. "He didn't seem too happy about you showin' up." He winced. "Sorry, that was kinda blunt."

Maria smiled up at the big man as she held her right hand out for him to untie the glove. "It was blunt, but, considering I came into your home and basically started a fight I guess it's okay. And to answer your question, no, he's not too happy to see me."

"So, what, you guys were together at some point, the relationship went south, and you had a bad breakup or somethin'?"

"Or something. I guess he still doesn't like to talk about his past?"

Indigo snapped his fingers and nodded. "The orphanage, right? That's how you guys know each other, it has to be! Relationship," he snorted. "I shoulda known better than to suggest that; Guerin doesn't do long-term. Hell, I don't think one-night stands even qualify as short-term, so you couldn't have been in a relationship. It's the orphanage, right?" He shook his head when she just smiled, confident that he had solved the puzzle of her relationship with Michael. "You hungry?"

The question was completely out of left field. "What?"

"Hungry, y'know, I fix food and we eat?"

"Oh, well, you have company, and I know Michael dumping me off on your doorstep was completely unexpected so I certainly don't want you to - "

"Wow, you talk a lot." He grinned, a wide and toothy grin. "Boy, that's gotta drive Guerin right up the wall! Don't worry about my company; I told one of my ladies I needed the place emptied out while you were busy screamin' at Cindy." He unlocked the door and motioned for her to follow him. "Hey, you like Italian food?"

"I love Italian food," Maria said, laughing when her stomach rumbled in anticipation of eating. She hadn't realized how long it had been since her last meal and she was very hungry. "You cook?"

"Uh-huh. Served a couple of tours in Italy a few years back and I learned how to cook from a woman I was involved with while I was there. Their food's amazing, isn't it?"

"Um-hmm." She looked around the huge kitchen, sitting on one of the high-backed barstools at the large island at the center of the room when he shooed her in that direction on his way to the stainless steel refrigerator. "So, if you served a couple of tours in Italy then you must be military?"

Indigo chuckled. "Close enough. The Company recruits young people with troubled pasts and gives them an opportunity to work off their debt to society and/or turn their lives in the right direction before they've gone too far and end up in prison." He pulled several covered dishes out and placed them on the counter and moved to a cabinet to retrieve a couple of baking dishes. He turned the oven on when he passed it on his way back to the island.

"I don't suppose you can tell me how Michael was recruited?"

"It's been a long time since you've seen him, huh?" He chuckled as he moved the food from the containers he had taken from the refrigerator to the baking dish and slid it into the oven. "Unlike most of us, Guerin hadn't committed any hard crimes when he was recruited; he was involved in a lot of minor shit, but he had the type of attitude and personality the Company is always lookin' for. I had already been in for several years when he was recruited," he said as he went back to the refrigerator and searched for the ingredients for a Caesar salad. "Kid was seventeen, arrogant, pissed off about anything and everything, and a total loner, but he adapted to the Company right from the start."

"Seventeen?" Maria was horrified by that information; there was no such group in her universe. How had Michael gotten involved with a military group? "How long was he in the Company?"

"Right at seven years, I think." He glanced down at his left hand and mentally calculated the months. "Yeah, that's about right; he served another year after I lost the hand and then he went to work for a private company."

Somehow, Maria felt a great sense of relief when she learned that Michael was no longer employed by the Company. "So, he's like, a bodyguard?"

"Yeah. There's the occasional job for the Company that crops up since the guy he contracts out to still has connections with the old man who runs things."

Maria ran the numbers in her head, surprised to realize that this Michael was twenty-five years old. He must have hatched earlier than in her universe. "Did you serve together in Italy?"

"Huh-uh. Most of our tours were in Africa, but there were a few odd ones in other countries. We spent time in Kuwait, Cuba, and El Salvador." He held his left arm up, nodding at the claw. "Lost the hand in an explosion in Cuba and that pretty much ended my time with the company; an explosives expert who's missin' a hand doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, y'know?"

"Were you disarming a bomb?"

"Yep." He grabbed a hand towel and pulled the hot dish out of the oven, sliding it on the stove. He grabbed the second dish and checked the time as he placed it on the rack in the center of the oven. "It was too late to disarm the fuckin' thing, but I was sure I could do it. Called that one wrong."

This whole discussion was making Maria ill-at-ease. She had always known that Michael was the soldier in the group, but in her universe he had been able to separate that part of himself, only letting it out when it was needed. Here, in this universe, this Michael had totally embraced that darker side of his nature, entering into a career that had only strengthened those instincts with no hesitation. It was becoming painfully clear that here he was probably closer to the original Rath than he was to her Michael. "Is that what Michael did?"

"What? Explosives expert?"

"Yeah."

"No, Guerin is a highly-trained weapons expert; bastard can take a target out at a thousand yards."

Maria was appalled at the picture this man was painting of Michael. "He was a sniper?"

"Still is, if and when the job calls for it." He moved to the cabinets next to the refrigerator and pulled down a couple of dinner plates and carried them to the stove. Placing them on the counter he filled them with the food he had heated then pulled the baking dish from the oven and added garlic bread to the plates. "Hope you like chicken parmesan," he said as he placed the plates on the island and pulled one of the stools out to join Maria. "It's all homemade; made it last night, but I was flyin' solo, so there were plenty of leftovers." He leaned forward to tap a clear glass bottle that he had gotten from the refrigerator. "Salad dressin', also homemade," he bragged unabashedly.


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