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

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 50 - 3/15

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:01 am

Eva – There’s something very wrong but is it with the forest? Or with something else?

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Alien Friend – Poor Michael, huh? Well, he’s had it so easy with women, up until now, he can suffer a little. It’s only justice.

Mary mary – Thank you, glad that you liked Michael’s POV.

Part 50

They were too far into the jungle to encounter hunters, farmers, or any of the people living in the surrounding villages, so that only left one option: rebels. He heard their hushed voices as they neared his location and he forced his breathing and his heartbeat to fall into the same synchronous rhythm as his hand momentarily tightened around the grip on his weapon. They were too close to the camp to risk the men giving their position away either vocally or by firing their weapons, so they had to time the hit perfectly. He raised his arm and drew a bead on the man on the right, knowing that Stone would take the other man out.

A nearly silent click came over his earpiece letting him know that she was in position and at the count of three he squeezed the trigger. The rebel didn't even have time to register shock as he dropped to the ground, hitting his knees and swaying for several moments before falling forward to land on his face. The second rebel followed suit and his forward momentum carried him to the ground next to his comrade.

"This is not good," he snarled as he moved in to verify the kills. Not much more than checking for a pulse since one no longer had a face and the other one was missing the back of his head. Funny thing about bullets, he mused. They didn't make that much of a mess going in, but that exit wound was a whole different story. "The camp is in the valley across the river; why would they be all the way over here?"

Stone shook her head as she grabbed the collar of one of the rebels and dragged him back into a dense patch of overgrowth and started covering the body. "They wouldn't be, not if our Intel was right."

"It's either bad Intel or a trap and I don't like either of those choices."

Stone remained silent while they finished hiding the bodies. Bad Intel or a trap, neither one mattered because a man's life hung in the balance and it was their job to retrieve him before the rebels started carving him up and sending him back to his family in pieces.

Michael nodded when as they stood back to look at each other. "I know," he muttered, "the mission comes first; doesn't mean I have to like it." He turned his head, listening for anything out of place. "How d'you wanna proceed?"

Stone understood what he was saying and she agreed with him. "We need to reach the ridgeline so we can get a look at the camp and make an assessment of the situation." She glanced at the sky, judging how much time they had before darkness fell. "We need to be in position so we can get in and out by sunup if we're gonna make it to the pick up point in time."

"We'd better pick up the pace then. We've still gotta make it across the river and a quarter mile up the side of that damned mountain, and we're gonna need daylight so we can see what kind of numbers and artillery we're up against."

They continued on their original course, the machete hacking through the thick vegetation the only sound as they each contemplated the danger lying ahead of them.

Darkness was quickly moving in as they finally reached the ridgeline and they scouted the area carefully before beginning the short climb to the top.


She froze when Michael called her, easily recognizing the warning tone in his voice. She glanced at him and turned her head to follow his gaze, cursing under her breath when she located the tripwire several feet away, carefully hidden beneath the deep green foliage.

"Fuck," she muttered.

Another few minutes and it would've been too dark to see it. They had lost precious time when they had reached the river and found the bridge destroyed and it had taken time to find a place that was safe to cross.

"Rebels nowhere near the camp, the bridge knocked out by explosives, and now a landmine on the ridge we need to access to verify our target? I don't believe in coincidence, Stone."

"That makes two of us." Fuck! It was a setup; there probably wasn't even a hostage waiting to be rescued. "We need to verify the hostage situation and figure out what we're gonna do now."

Michael nodded and snapped his fingers. "Toss me the binoculars and then keep an eye out while I take a look at the situation." He carefully stepped over the tripwire and his eyes scanned the ground in a nearly futile effort to locate any other traps.

"Freeze!" Stone hissed when the moonlight revealed a second thin silver wire stretched taut across the path.

Every muscle in his body locked in response to her order while he waited for her to assess the situation. "Step over with your left foot, but don't go any further; we have no visibility beyond your current position. Go high, Guerin, that tripwire's right at calf level." She breathed a sigh of relief when his booted foot cleared the wire and settled on the other side.

Michael shoved away the thought that there was an explosive device between his feet and brought the binoculars up to his eyes, switching them over to night vision so he could scan the camp in the valley below them. He scanned over every inch of the camp and shook his head when the sweep only confirmed what he had already suspected. "There's no activity down there; it's completely deserted and looks like it's been that way for quite a while." He braced his left arm on the tree beside him and just as he turned his head away something hit the binoculars and they flew out of his hand to land on the ground next to Stone.

He quickly backtracked, following Stone's instructions to avoid the tripwires and he crouched down beside her as she examined the binoculars in the moonlight. "Sniper," he muttered when he saw the shattered lens and what was left of the other end… where his eye had been a mere second before the equipment had taken the hit.

"Looks like he got you, too." Stone nodded at the torn fabric of his shirt and the blood staining the camouflage material.

Michael glanced at his shoulder and shook his head. "Flesh wound," he said carelessly. He pulled a small can out of one of the pockets in his pants and handed it to her as he shrugged the strap of his rifle off of his right shoulder. "Paint the tripwire… we're gonna need a distraction."

'Painting' a target meant spraying it with a substance that was only visible with a certain lens. She nodded and took care of it while he checked his rifle and removed his scope from another pocket, attaching it to the weapon and then checking to make sure that the marker was showing up.

They moved back, carefully making their way along the path they had cut through the jungle until they had nearly lost sight of the ridgeline. Stone kept her own weapon at the ready, scanning the area around them as he pulled his rifle up to rest against his shoulder. She knew he was taking the landmines out, hoping that they would draw their would-be assassins out into the open; their only advantage at this point was to draw them out at night, when they would have a fair chance of getting away.

The rebels knew the area a lot better than they did and they would be able to track them during the day. By drawing them out at night they kept their enemies from having the upper hand; neither side could risk using flashlights because it would give their position away.

The landmines exploded within seconds of each other and the resulting explosion lit up the night sky. They hurried along their path, the ground underfoot slippery from the freshly cut vegetation and the humidity that still hadn't let up. They were sacrificing safety for speed as they made their way down the mountain, heading for the river where they knew they were going to lose time. They weren't going to have the luxury of going back to the safe point to cross the river; they were going to have to cross wherever the trail dropped them and hope that the current didn't carry them too far before they could reach the opposite side.

The air around them was suddenly filled with the sound of gunfire and bullets ricocheted off of the ground as they reached the bank of the river. They ran for the river and jumped, hearts pounding as the water around them was pierced by hundreds of bullets from multiple directions. They managed to grab each others flak jackets, keeping them connected, as they fought the current to make it across the river.

Michael had no idea how far the river had carried them when he was finally able to reach out and grab the exposed root of an old tree on the opposite bank. "Sonofabitch," he muttered as he hauled himself up out of the water and then turned to give Stone a hand.

"That was one insane ride," she said as they turned to disappear into the jungle once more. "C'mon, there's an undercover agent who just nearly got us killed and he owes us one helluva - "

The sound that a bullet made as it tore through human flesh was something that once heard could never be forgotten and Michael knew before he even turned that Stone had been hit. The shock was immediate and he looked down to see her staring at her hands where they were pressing against her abdomen. Blood coated her hands and the pressure she was using wasn't doing anything to stem the flow. He grabbed her by the shoulders and hauled her deeper into the jungle before tearing a strip off of the bottom of his shirt and using it to tie around her waist, hoping to slow the blood flow long enough to get her out of the sniper's path.

He risked moving deeper into the jungle and clearing out a small area where he could lay her down and try to put a field dressing on the wound so they could keep moving. She hadn't made a sound and he hoped that the shock would keep her unaware of what was happening to her; he could dress the wound, he could dose her up with morphine, but he knew what he would see before he reached for the hastily tied makeshift bandage.

Wounds like this were never good and without immediate attention they were also fatal. They were in the middle of the jungle and he knew there was no way she was going to survive the night, much less the trek back to the pick up point. He pulled the medical kit out of his pack and filled the syringe with enough to dull the pain she would feel as soon as the shock began to wear off, sinking the needle into her flesh and pushing the plunger down to inject her with the painkiller.

He worked quickly and efficiently, trying hard to choke down the nausea that rose when he pulled the remnants of her flak jacket and shirt away from the wound. Hollow point, he thought, recognizing the damage done by the sniper's choice of bullet. It was his preferred type of bullet primarily because of its accuracy from a distance but he had also chosen it for the damage it did to its target.

There wasn't much left to the right side of her stomach and he could see her intestines protruding from the gaping wound. He tried to be as gentle as possible as he dealt with the wound, dressing it and wishing that he couldn't see how quickly the bandage was turning red.

"You should get outta here," Stone wheezed. It was taking everything she had to not scream as the agonizing pain ripped through her body in waves.

"We don't leave our people behind, Stone."

"We do if it's our only chance to get out alive."

"You're not dyin' in this fuckin' jungle!" he insisted.

"Wanna bet on it?" She coughed weakly, glassy eyes staring up at the starry sky. "I've got a bad feelin' I won't see daylight, Guerin."

"We're not discussin' this." He turned his attention to his weapon, stripping it down and checking it over to make sure it was ready for action.

The morphine started to kick in and a blessed languid feeling began to settle over her. "Did you know I met Azrael on a mission?"

Michael snorted softly as he reached for her weapon and started to break it down. He leaned over her, unable to hide the concern in his gaze when he saw that the bandage was nearly soaked through. "Everyone knows you met him on a mission," he said as he tore another strip off of his shirt and wrapped it around her abdomen.

"Did you know I was workin' for a private contractor at the time? I had been hired to take him out because he was a threat to one of their clients." She shook her head, wincing when a sliver of pain reached past the morphine to remind her of her situation. "I was young and idealistic… thought I could change the world, one bad guy at a time."

Michael snorted, unable to picture her the way she was describing her younger self. "Guess that means Azrael set your ass straight."

"He got the drop on me the night I… I was supposed to kill him and that p-p-prick held me hostage for a week before he… he convinced me that he… was the good guy and I had been hired by one of the C-C-Company's enemies." She coughed, tasting the metallic tang of blood. "Didn't know who the Company was at… that time; I thought he was full of shit and… and spinning a line of bull to get in my panties."

"Was he?"

She laughed and it quickly ended in another bout of coughing. "Don't make me laugh, Guerin. Obviously the part about the Company was true, but…" She tried to draw a breath, having more and more difficulty talking as the minutes passed by. "…but that man was definitely tryin' to get in my panties. He was cold-blooded… ruthless… and damn he could b-b-be a heartless bastard out in the field, but when it came to us… together… there was a side of him that… that most people never would've even suspected existed." The light in her eyes dulled as she turned her head to look at him. "I stopped living the night he died," she admitted quietly. "After that it was just a matter of survival, biding my time until I could be with him again."

"Fuck, Stone, what're you talkin' about?"

"Somethin' that scares you more than the wrong side of a bullet… lettin' somebody in, lettin' yourself care for her…"

Michael busied himself with putting her rifle back together. "We're not havin' this conversation."

"Give a dyin' woman a chance to give you some advice - "

"You're not - "

"I am, and you know it. If it weren't for the morphine I'd be screaming in agony and begging you to put me out of my misery right now… it's only a matter of time… and that time's getting shorter."

He sighed and let the rifle rest across his legs as he gave her his full attention. "Fine, share your advice with me."

"I've watched you with her… over the past few months and I've seen you start to change; it's nothing overt," she hurried to assure him when he pulled back and looked offended, "but it's happening. You treat her differently than you do… any other woman, you talk to her instead of at her, and you actually listen to her when she talks." She tried to laugh, but the sound came out as a gurgle and she was unaware of his concerned gaze when blood began to trickle down from the corner of her mouth. "The woman's got you goin' to the fuckin' supermarket and buyin' groceries for God's sake… you care about her whether you want to or not." Her hand settled weakly on his thigh and he automatically reached down to wrap his hand around hers. "People like us don't find that very often, Guerin; don't let it slip away from you if you think you can really have somethin' with her… promise me."

Michael swallowed hard. Her voice was getting weaker, her breaths coming in shallow pants now. "Promise," he said gruffly.

She nodded, satisfied that he would keep his word. "Promise me one more thing, you stubborn bastard," she gasped on a raspy breath.

Michael nodded. "Anything, Stone."

"Make sure they bury me next to Azrael. I've been separated from him long enough…"

Her body convulsed as she tried to draw in another breath and he could see how much even that weak effort was costing her. "I'll make sure you're with him," he promised. His hand shook as he reached out to wipe away the blood that spilled from the corner of her mouth and he squeezed his eyes shut when he heard the last ragged breath ghost past her lips.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 51 - 3/29

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:55 pm

Alien Friend – It was sad and terrible for Michael to watch his friend die. But Stone had been half living only and her job was dangerous so it was always going to end badly for her.

Eva – Don’t worry, Michael is full of resources and well trained. He will get out of there. But emotionally, that’s another story.

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Mary mary – Sorry that the last update made you sad.

DeDe PR – Yes, Stone was one of the good guys and one of the rare ones that Michael liked and trusted.

Part 51

Maria shook her head when she realized that she had been scanning through the news channels in hopes of seeing something, anything that would give her some small piece of information about Michael and Stone. She knew from his previous missions that there would be no news coverage for the types of missions they dealt with but she couldn't help it.

The feeling that something was wrong had started the night before and at first she had blamed it on her worrying more than usual in response to his cagey behavior before leaving. She hadn't been able to sleep or focus on anything on television so she had started cleaning like crazy. Now the house was spotless, the laundry was all finished, and she still couldn't shake that feeling.

She needed to do something to keep her mind occupied, she thought, glancing at the clock. She wasn't scheduled to work that night but maybe Gabriel could use an extra pair of hands. She turned the television off and hurried into the kitchen to grab the keys to the truck, her cell phone, and her bag before pulling the door closed behind her as she stepped down into the garage.


Gabriel was surprised to see Maria when she stepped into the bar; she wasn't on the schedule for that night and she never came in without Guerin when she wasn't on the clock.

"What can I get for you, Maria?"

"Need any help tonight?"

He shook his head at her hopeful tone and grabbed a bottle of the beer she and Guerin both favored as he stepped out from behind the bar and led her to a secluded table. He sat down with her, watching her as she picked at the label; dark circles under her eyes, the nervous, edgy movements of her hands… she hadn't been sleeping and he knew why.

"I haven't heard anything, Maria."

"Would you tell me if you had?" she asked sharply.

This was the problem with getting involved with a civilian, he thought and sighed. "You've been with Guerin long enough to know how it works."

"The way it works sucks." She took a drink from the bottle in her hand as she looked at him.

He didn't bother arguing with her because he knew it was an argument he wouldn't win. As a civilian it would suck; not knowing where your loved one was, what they were doing, if they were safe, or if they were even alive. As an agent you just accepted those things because it could very well mean the difference between life and death. It wasn't a career that saw very many successful relationships and he would never be able to explain it in a way that she could understand it.


Michael paused for a brief rest as the sun climbed higher in the sky and the oppressive jungle heat became more intolerable. He hadn't been able to use the path they had carved out the day before because rebels had been crawling all over the place before the sun had made it over the horizon. He was following the river, knowing that it would eventually lead him back to the general vicinity of the pick up point but he was running short on time.

It had taken hours before he had been able to begin the trek that would take him out of the jungle and even then it had been a painstakingly slow process because of the sheer number of rebels he had been working to evade. Getting captured wasn't an option and unfortunately he was conscious of every second ticking by and eating away at what little time remained before he missed his chance to get out of the hell-hole he was stuck in.

If he missed the rendezvous at the pick up point he would have no choice but to make his way to the small farm hidden back in the jungle that Stone had told him about during their flight. It belonged to her most trusted informant in the region and he knew the man had radio equipment that would be able to connect him to Xavier or Marcos. He wouldn't risk making contact with the man temporarily covering Xavier's post because he didn't trust him.

He took a couple sips of water from his canteen before returning it to the clip on his belt. He was crouched down under thick cover as he scanned the area and tried to determine his next course of action. He was almost positive that the rebels were no longer tracking the correct trail; he had been careful to lay down a false trail in several different places, hoping it would buy him the time he needed to get away.

He had his suspicions that the mission had been nothing more than a setup to take Stone out. The bridge had been destroyed by explosives and it had put them on the wrong side of the clock, landmines had been placed at the only vantage point on the ridge, the sniper had hit the binoculars and missed him, and Stone had been hit with a shot that could've only come from a sniper's rifle. It was a revenge shot; a wound inflicted with the intention of making the target suffer as they died a slow, painful death. If it had just been about taking them out a bullet through the head or the heart would've been the quickest, most efficient kill. This was personal. Whoever had ordered the hit had a personal stake in her death.

Michael turned his head to glance down at the body bag he had placed Stone in the night before and he squeezed his eyes shut at the memory. He would keep his promise to her; she would be buried next to Azrael and he would make sure her death was avenged. He sighed as he lifted the bag up and hefted it over his left shoulder, forcing down the nausea when he felt the slick slide of exposed intestines shifting inside the bag.

He had three hours before he would miss his ride home but he was fighting exhaustion, the humid heat of the jungle, and both the physical and emotional weight of carrying his friend's lifeless body as he cut a new path through the dense blanket of greenery that surrounded him. He wanted to go home, he realized. Home to the woman who fussed over him, who worried about him when he was away on missions, and who tried to put on a brave face despite that fear.


Maria worked the next night, but being surrounded by so many people who were in the same business as Michael didn't help. She was unusually quiet as she saw to her customers' needs, filled orders, and listened hard for any tiny bit of information that any of them might have about the mission Michael was on.

It was after three in the morning when she left with the rest of the waitresses, but as they all made their way to their cars she walked away from the parking lot and down the street towards St. Vincent's Cathedral. She pushed the heavy wooden door open and entered the peaceful sanctuary, seeking some small measure of the comfort offered within.

She sat in one of the wooden pews, hands on the high back of the one in front of her as she leaned forward to rest her forehead on her hands. She hadn't been able to sleep since Michael had left; any sleep she did get was sporadic and riddled with nightmares where she relived her Michael's death and saw the Michael of this universe die in a multitude of horrific ways.

The first day she hadn't been able to stop thinking about the fact that he and Stone were together on this mission, but before long she had realized that as concerned as he had been about the limited time they had been given she had no reason to be worried about them having sex. There were more important things to worry about, like why she couldn't shake the feeling that something was very wrong.

She never noticed Raphael as he silently slipped into the back of the cathedral and moved along the back wall to take a seat in the darkest corner. The lethal ex-agent settled in to watch over his charge, his behavior mimicking that of the guardian archangel he was named for. It wasn't the first time he had followed her when she had gone to the old church and he doubted it would be the last, but no one would ever know about it.

Well, almost no one, he thought, looking up when Father Augustine entered from a side room, quietly closing a door behind himself. His sleep had most likely been disturbed by the sound of Maria coming through the creaky doors; his white hair stuck up in little tufts and his face was creased where it had been pressed into a pillow. The kind blue eyes lifted for just a moment to pinpoint Raphael's position, but he did nothing to give away the man's presence as he moved to join Maria.


Michael wiped the side of his wrist across his forehead to remove the sweat that had collected there. He wasn't exactly in a position to avoid the incessant swarm of mosquitoes that were everywhere and he just hoped that between the inoculations he'd been given for every known jungle illness and his alien immune system that he wouldn't contract malaria or something worse.

Damn bloodthirsty insects could smell the blood and there was no way for him to get rid of the heavy scent of death. He forced himself to keep moving, to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep his mind focused on his mission; he had missed the rendezvous with the chopper so he had changed course to make it to the farm where Stone's contact would be waiting.

Dusk was falling as he stepped into the clearing that surrounded the little ramshackle farmhouse and he had taken less than half a dozen steps when he heard the unmistakable sound of a hammer being pulled back on a gun.

"Hey, the sign says no trespassing, Gringo."

Michael carefully sheathed the machete, keeping his movements slow as he held his right arm up and turned around. Stone hadn't told him what to expect if he ever met Pablo Perez and he frowned as he looked at the man watching him. The accent was right, but he just didn't fit the scene.

"You got a problem, Gringo?"

Stone had always had a twisted sense of humor, he thought as his gaze moved over the man. He obviously wasn't a native of the country; the man was an American, black, and he couldn't have been more than four and a half feet tall. He was slim and wore camouflage fatigue pants, a tie-dye tee shirt, and a boonie… he looked like a lunatic.

"You Perez?"

The small man grinned, showing off several gold-capped front teeth and he lowered the gun a fraction of an inch.

"You must be one of Stone's mates," he said, switching accents again. His expression sobered as his gaze slid over the body bag the stranger carried so carefully and he shook his head in denial.

"Stone said you had radio equipment; I need to contact my people."

"Motherfucker!" Perez exploded as he hurried around to unzip the bag to verify with his own eyes what he already knew from the taller man's eyes. He pulled a small crucifix out of his shirt and lifted it to his lips, kissing it before crossing himself and closing the bag up once more. "C'mon, I've got cold storage below the house; you can leave her there while you contact your people. It'll take Xavier a few hours to get a new pick up scheduled, so you can clean up and then tell me what happened."

Michael paused. "You know Xavier?"

"I was a mercenary for a few years, arms dealer for another few, and now I deal primarily in information." He led the way inside and showed the agent where to leave the body. "You wonderin' why I live here?" he asked when he saw the man looking over the cache of weapons stored in every possible inch of space.

"Merc to gunrunner to informant?" He shook his head as his gaze raked over the man. "Most of the locals probably think you're loco the way you switch accents and dress like a cross between a hippie and a soldier. You live here because no one wants to fuck with a lunatic who lives in the jungle and stockpiles weapons."

"You must be Guerin." He held his hand out and the taller man shook it. "You're one of the few people she ever spoke highly of." He nodded to a tiny room to the left of the cellar door. "Radio's in there, bathroom's next room down if you wanna clean up." He took a step back and left the man to take care of his business.


Maria's gaze strayed to the clock again despite her best intentions; the 48-hour deadline that Michael had been so concerned about had come and gone hours ago and she still hadn't heard anything. She didn't really expect to hear anything, but she had hoped he would have the decency to call when his plane landed. It was easier to think that he was just being thoughtless instead of thinking that he was lying dead somewhere but her mind always came back to that possibility.

What if his plane had landed without him? What if he was trapped…? She didn't even know where he had been sent. All she knew was that wherever he had gone there were rebels who would be more than happy to get their hands on a couple of American agents. He had been vocal about his dislike of the time constraint that he and Stone were going to be working under and she had no idea what would happen if they missed their pick up. Would the Company really leave them down there to die? Would they deny knowledge of their own agents being in another country? Surely they would mount a rescue if their own agents didn't make it back!

She sighed and stared at the clock. No, she knew there would be no rescue attempt and the agents knew that… they understood and accepted it. She still couldn't wrap her mind around that mentality no matter how hard she tried to. A buzzing sound infiltrated her thoughts and she looked around trying to locate the source, realizing after several moments that it was her phone. She ran across the room and snatched it up, flipping it open and lifting it up to her ear.

"Michael?" Static crackled from the other end of the connection and her heart started to pound. "Michael, is that you?" she cried into the mouthpiece.

"…reception fuckin' sucks," he growled.

Most of his greeting was lost in the static and about the only thing she understood was the profane ending; it was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. "Oh, my God, you're coming home!"

30,000 feet above the ground Michael rested his forehead on the closed door to the lavatory as her relieved voice washed over him. "I'm comin' home," he agreed and for the first time in his life those words actually held meaning.

"When will you be here? Are you okay? Are you hungry?" She was relieved, scared, nervous, and so thankful to hear his voice that she couldn't stop the questions from pouring out of her mouth. "I'm sorry, I know you don't want me to - "


She froze when his quiet voice cut through her ramblings. "Yes, Michael?"

"Can you come pick me up? My flight'll land in about an hour at a private airstrip…"

She swallowed hard when she heard the fatigue in his voice, but it was the underlying hint of something else that set off warning bells in her head. "Just tell me where to go."

Michael gave her the directions and then told her he had to go because the reception was only getting worse. He sighed as he disconnected the call, not even certain how many hours or days he had been away from home now. As soon as he had made contact with Xavier's office he had been patched through to the old man and quickly given him a brief report.

The old man hadn't wasted any time in getting another chopper lined up and he had been waiting on the private jet that had picked Michael up for the flight home. Xavier had debriefed him personally and they had spent hours upon hours going over every second of the mission until Michael had felt like screaming. It was all part of the post-mission protocol, but for the first time he had been in a position where he wished he could forget everything that had happened.

He unlocked the door and stepped out of the lavatory, walking the short distance to the cabin where the plush leather seats were waiting. The old man had pulled out all the stops for this trip, Michael thought as he sank into one of the chairs. Usually they caught a ride on a military transport; they rarely had the opportunity to travel in such luxury. He looked up when he heard the nearly silent footsteps belonging to the man that controlled the entire Company.

Xavier Coulson's age was unknown though most who knew him speculated that he had to be in his early to mid 50's. He was of average height with a thick head of salt-and-pepper hair, his face rarely expressed emotion and his eyes were filled with intelligence. He had no tolerance for mistakes in the field because mistakes meant more paperwork, risk to his agents and feathers for him to smooth over and if there was one thing Xavier hated it was the political bullshit that went along with his position.

He moved with purpose as his short legs carried him down the aisle and he sat down in the seat across from Michael. His assessing gaze slid over one of his top field operatives and he knew the man was going to need time off. It wasn't just a mission that had gone south; it was a mission that should never have been undertaken by his people and it was a mistake that would not be repeated. The man who had been covering for him while he was in Washington briefing the President had been dealt with. His mistake had cost the Company an operative who had always been dedicated, loyal, and carried out her missions without question. Xavier was a man who believed that justice should be swift, and in this case the sword of justice had not only been swift, but lethal as well.

"Do I need to make arrangements to get you home once the plane lands?"

"It's covered," Michael answered shortly.

He nodded. Guerin was a man of few words and Xavier could appreciate that quality in his operatives. "We will find out who sanctioned the hit on Stone and the appropriate action will be taken," he assured the younger man.

"And the asshole who sent us into this bullshit mess?" he asked through gritted teeth.

Xavier's cold eyes met Michael's angry gaze. "Will never fuck up the intelligence for another mission; his actions were rash and ill-thought out, but it's a mistake he will never make again."

Michael nodded. "Stone's last request was to be buried next to Azrael."

Azrael. Xavier shook his head. The name brought back memories, some good and some bad. It was only fair that Stone be buried next to him. They had been quite unique in this secret world they lived in. A couple of operatives who had managed to make it work. Sadness threatened to overtake him and Xavier took a sip from the glass of whiskey he had taken before sitting down to talk to Michael. "Stone was a faithful operative and her request will be honored." He glanced at the man sitting across from him as he stood to go back to the cockpit to talk with the pilot. "Get some rest, Guerin; I rarely say it, but you deserve it."

Michael didn't even acknowledge the old man, simply turned his head to look out at the blue sky visible through the window. He felt like he had been dragged all over the world in the past few days and had been fighting like hell to keep himself under control. He wanted it all to be over; the mission, Stone's death, her funeral, that nagging pain in his chest that had started the minute she had stopped breathing, and the feeling that he had let her down. He wanted it to all go away, to stop spinning in a kaleidoscope of shades of gray, and most of all he wanted to stop seeing her death every time he closed his eyes.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 52 - 4/12

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:00 am

Mary mary – The reason behind Stone’s death will be… taken care of by the Company, and it’s not that much of an important plot. Stone was an agent of said company and had many enemies. Bad stuff happens. What matters is more the emotional impact on Michael.

Alien friend – Yes, the Company will take care of whoever participated in Stone’s death. It won’t be pretty. But it will stay in the background of the story.

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Part 52

Maria turned onto the road that led back to the private airstrip and frowned when she noticed the guard shack that sat next to a security gate that was blocking her path. She applied the brakes and rolled to a stop in front of the barricade and her gaze was wary when an armed man stepped out of the small building and motioned for her to roll the window down.

"State your name and the nature of your business," he said, his tone brisk.

"Maria DeLuca. I'm here to pick up Michael Guerin."

"I'll need to see identification with a photo, ma'am."

"Oh, of course." She grabbed her bag and pulled out the driver's license Michael had gotten for her God who only knew where.

"It'll just take a moment to verify your information," he said and walked back into the guard shack. He came back several moments later and handed her license back to her as the secured gate began to slide open. He leaned down to look at her through the open window and gave her directions to the area where she was required to park and wait.

The plane had already landed and the setting sun reflected brightly off of the white paint, the glare nearly blinding in its intensity. She had to shield her eyes as she parked in the designated area and she watched several dozen people rush around the plane, their activity curiously frantic. The panel that contained the steps opened and slowly unfolded, coming to rest gently on the tarmac and a moment later Michael stood silhouetted in the opening. He turned to speak with someone inside the plane before beginning his descent.

Her gaze slid over him, trying to pinpoint the source of the difference she could sense in him. It was the first time she had ever seen him dressed out in full military gear and it made him appear colder, more aloof, and she quickly decided she didn't like it. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of dark sunglasses so she couldn't read his expression, but she saw the momentary slip in his rigid posture when he looked up and saw her waiting for him.

She fought the need to go to him as long as she could but when he reached the edge of the gravel lot where she had been told to park she threw caution to the wind. He would reject the gesture of welcome, but she was too relieved to see him alive to care about that. She ran to him and threw her arms around him, hugging his tense frame for several long seconds before releasing him and stepping back.

He regarded her from behind the glasses as he shifted the case with his weapons carefully packed inside. He looked back at the plane and sighed heavily before continuing on his way to the truck.

Something was very wrong, Maria thought as she watched him put his things in the backseat and then get in the front - on the passenger's side. He never let her drive when they went anywhere together; it was just a part of his controlling nature that she hadn't been able to change. She shook herself out of her stupor and hurried around to climb in behind the wheel and start the engine.

Several times on the way home she tried to start a conversation but he had remained stubbornly mute. Halfway home she gave up and drove the rest of the way in silence. They were driving away from the setting sun but he never took the sunglasses off, and even though he was leaning heavily against the door she knew he wasn't asleep.

It was one of the ways that he was so similar to her Michael and it hurt to see him so closed off. She knew from experience that she had to let him deal with whatever had happened in his own way and wait for him to come to her, to be more receptive to the comfort she could and would offer. He was out of the truck as soon as they pulled into the garage; he grabbed his gear and went inside without a sound.

He went straight to his room, not even stopping to grab a beer, and he closed the door behind him. As far as messages went it wasn't subtle in the least but she accepted it for what it was - a warning that he wanted to be left alone and any attempt to engage him wouldn't be welcome.

She decided to make dinner even though she didn't think he would eat, but it was busy work and she needed something to do.


Michael showered and dressed in a pair of cargo pants and a sleeveless tee shirt before gathering up the clothes he had worn home and rolling them into a bundle that he carried out of his bedroom. He appreciated Maria's silence and he hoped she wouldn't get vocal on him when he declined dinner.

He unlocked the door on the workshop and dragged out the 50-gallon drum he used for burning, setting it up well away from the house. He threw the clothes into it and poured lighter fluid on them before striking a match and tossing it inside. Flames leapt above the rim of the drum and he stared at them, wishing his memories of the past few days could be made to disappear as easily as the material quickly turning to ash.

He stayed there until the flames began to die out and before long they were gone. He took care to extinguish the few remaining embers before turning and going back inside and looking around as if he had been gone for months instead of just a few days. He walked over to the wall where his trophy case resided, his gaze sliding over the weapons mounted inside the case. His mouth felt as dry as the desert when his eyes settled on a picture that rested on one of the glass shelves, mounted next to his first sniper rifle and his hand lifted to press against the case.

No one looking at the picture would know that it was Stone leaning against the side of the building that had housed ammunition and a storehouse of weapons that had been hidden for transport to a terrorist organization. It had been their first job together and Stone had laughed herself stupid when he had gotten his ass kicked by the girlfriend of one of the terrorists. The woman had come out of hiding and tried to crack the back of his skull with a frying pan followed by a severely vicious kick to his nuts. He had been young and so sure that he knew all the tricks out in the field, so certain that he didn't need anyone's help, much less some stupid female agent. Fuck, if he had a nickel for everything she had taught him he'd never have to work again. He tried to swallow the lump in his throat, but there was no moisture to aid him and he nearly choked.

He fought back all of the feelings and emotions that had been trying to rip their way out of his chest and his hand slid to the side to grip the edge of the case to steady himself. He needed to sit down or lie down before he totally embarrassed himself and passed out; he hadn't eaten in he didn't know how long and he was so exhausted from hiking through the jungle followed by hours of questions.

He walked towards the kitchen, intending to get a beer, but as he got closer to the kitchen he could smell the cooking food and his stomach churned in response. He went back to the bathroom and turned the faucet on, leaning down over the sink, forearms resting on the counter so he could collect the cold water in his cupped hands and splash it on his face. As soon as he felt the trembling fading and his stomach coming back under his control, he filled his hands with more water and sipped it slowly before turning the faucet off and grabbing a towel to dry his hands.


Maria walked out of the kitchen and paused in the doorway to the living room, sighing when she saw the man sitting in his favored chair, his eyes staring sightlessly at the blaring television. She watched him for a while, worrying more and more as the minutes ticked by and he remained silent and unaware of the game playing on the screen.

She knew he wasn't going to eat, but she had to ask him anyway. She switched the beer she was holding to her left hand and dried her right on her shirttail before slowly crossing the room to stand next to him. "I know the answer's probably no, but would you like something to eat?"

He shook his head and leaned his head back against his chair, the fingers of his right hand plucking at a loose thread. The feeling of something cold and wet brushing against the knuckles of his other hand drew his attention and his fingers uncurled to wrap around the bottle she was offering. He lifted it to his lips and took a long drink, his throat working as the cool liquid rushed over his tongue.

Maria left him to his thoughts and moved back to her position where she could observe him without bothering him. What had gone wrong? she wondered, feeling helpless in the face of his obviously weighty thoughts. Why hadn't Stone gotten off of the plane with him? She was pretty sure that they must have taken off and returned together, so why hadn't she seen the woman?

She had seen him when he had dragged the large barrel out of the shed and proceeded to burn the clothes he had worn home. The action had been almost symbolic, but she wasn't sure what exactly it was so symbolic of. She couldn't ask, of course, because he was in no mood to talk and until he decided to share there was nothing she could do to help him.

Had there been others involved in whatever mission he had undertaken? He had been so concerned about the lack of time his superiors had allotted for the mission; had he lost someone? Maybe that doctor they had been sent in to retrieve? Had they arrived at the location too late? Witnessed some horrible act by the rebels who were so vicious that he had been adamant they did not want to risk being left in the jungle?

She had no idea what to say or do other than to just do what she had been doing and let him approach her when he was ready. She went into the kitchen to put the food away and then grabbed a beer for herself before going back into the living room and sitting down in her usual spot on the couch.

Minutes crept by, the second hand ticking so slowly that it almost appeared to be stationary, and eventually Maria turned her attention to the baseball game that was being ignored by her silent companion. She couldn't care less about baseball or any of the other sports that he normally watched, but for the first time she found herself wishing that she found it at least semi-interesting.

Eventually the sun completed its nightly descent and darkness fell over the room, the television providing the only light. The voice of the sports announcer had been the only sound for so long that she jumped when she heard the springs in Michael's chair groan in protest when he shifted and a moment later stood up. She had expected him to leave and go to his bedroom, so she was surprised when he walked around the coffee table and stretched out on the couch. He dropped his shaggy head in her lap, rolling over onto his side and crossing his arms over his chest as he continued to stare at the television screen without watching it.

Maria hesitated for several brief seconds before letting her fingertips trail over his muscled shoulder, stroking with just enough pressure to let him know she was there. She felt him sigh and she let her hand slide up to card through his hair, fingernails gently scraping against his scalp in a soothing manner.

Michael was experiencing the strangest, most uncomfortable sensation that he had ever felt as something hot and heavy twisted in his chest, expanding until he felt like he couldn't breathe. The feeling only seemed to worsen beneath Maria's caring touches and he reached up to rub his eyes when they started to burn. His heart started to pound when his fingers came away wet and he stared at them uncomprehendingly.

What the fuck?! He hadn't shed a tear in his life and he didn't want to start now! He brushed them away angrily and folded his arms over his chest again, trying his best to contain the agonizing pressure that was building there as he stared at the suddenly blurry television screen. The last thing he needed was to have some sort of emotional break in front of Maria; she would want to talk it to death and he couldn't deal with that. Not now and not ever.

Maria felt the tension that settled over him and the light from the television reflected off of his cheek and she could see the path that a couple of tears had tracked down his face. She knew better than to draw attention to the fact that his emotions were not only surfacing, but manifesting themselves in a physical way, so she continued her gentle ministrations, alternating between stroking her hand over his shoulder and running her fingers through his hair.

His big body trembled from the effort he was expending to hold his emotions at bay and she knew what it would cost for him to let that control go. He wasn't the type of man to be comfortable with that kind of release and she seriously doubted that he had ever even come this close before.

As she had with her Michael when he had come to her in the middle of the night, seeking solace and comfort, she cared for this man in a way that wouldn't compromise his sense of masculinity or make him feel like he was less than a man in her eyes.

Michael never heard a sound that came from the television, but he heard every single word that Maria uttered as she assured him with words and touches that she was there, that she would take care of him, that he didn't have to talk about whatever was wrong, and that he could tell her about it whenever he was ready. He didn't understand this kind of caring, but he craved it in a physical and emotional way, needed it for his sanity and he wasn't sure how to feel about that.

He breathed out through his mouth, refusing to let his emotions get the best of him, and when they pushed even harder he lifted his fist and bit down on his knuckles to control the impulse to let his pain out vocally.

Maria could feel the war being waged inside of him and she lost track of time as she soothed and comforted him, doing everything she could think of to try and calm him down. He had obviously been through something traumatic and she just hoped that at some point he would be able to talk to her about it because whatever it was, it was eating him up inside.

He finally fell asleep after a while and the only indicator she had of how much time had passed was the off-air signal on the television. She followed him into sleep at some point, unaware of the position she was in or the fact that she was going to be stiff the next morning.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 53 - 4/27

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:49 am

Alien friend – Since Maria has appeared in his life, lots of first have happened in Michael’s life. He doesn’t necessarily like some of them. But they are necessary for him to grow as a human being, or rather hybrid being.

Mary mary – Michael had never realized that he had liked Stone. She was just there, a buddy, a colleague, that was all. And now, he got to see her dying, got to hear her last words, her advices and it’s hard for him to accept this new reality: that he had gotten attached to Stone without realizing it and that he has lost her.

Eva – Thank you. Yes, it was a powerful moment. Michael needed Maria, just like original Michael had needed Maria in ID.

DeDe PR – It’s good that the writing really helped you getting Michael’s pain.

Phantomrhiannon – A new reader, hello and thanks for your nice review. It’s always great to hear that the readers are completely into the story, the characters and can’t get enough. About the background characters, we tried to give them a story, without developing them because they weren’t important to the story, but we didn’t want them to be just there, to occupy the space at Gabriel’s bar.

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading!

Part 53

The sun was pouring in through the patio doors when Maria woke up the next morning and she winced at the cramp in her neck from sleeping in the uncomfortable position. She looked down at the man lying on the couch next to her, head still resting in her lap as he slept deeply. The level of exhaustion he was exhibiting was the only explanation for him remaining asleep when she eased out from under him and propped his head up on one of the throw pillows.

She retrieved a light blanket from the linen closet, shaking it out and covering him with it, tucking it in around him before leaning over him to brush a kiss against his temple. He didn't stir through the entire process and she glanced over him one more time before going to take a quick shower so she could get breakfast started. He was sure to be hungry when he woke up, but even if he wasn't she was going to bully him into eating something because she was pretty certain that he hadn't eaten recently.

When Michael finally cracked his eyes open he knew without looking that it was already midmorning. He shifted, rolling over onto his back, and suddenly realizing that he was alone. The feeling of panic was immediate and he shoved himself to a sitting position as he looked around, trying to locate Maria. His heart rate began to return to normal and the panic started to recede when he heard the familiar sounds of her moving around the kitchen as she made breakfast.

He left the blanket lying over the back of the couch as he stood, running his hands through his hair as he padded into the kitchen. He felt something inside of him settle into place when he stepped into the room and he leaned against the doorframe for several minutes just to watch her as she moved around with confidence, singing along with the radio, and putting breakfast together.

After a few minutes he crossed the room to get a glass down from the cabinet, opening the refrigerator and pulling the pitcher of orange juice out, before walking over to sit on one of the barstools on the opposite side of the island. He filled his glass and set the pitcher aside, waiting for the inevitable questions now that she had noticed his presence.

"Are you doing okay?" Maria asked as her eyes traced over his rough features.

He shrugged and nodded, taking another drink of his juice. "Fine."

"I'm making breakfast." She winced as she stated the obvious and waited for the expected sarcastic remark. "Would you like something to eat?"

"Yeah, but, maybe just somethin' light though; I don't think my stomach's up to eatin' a heavy meal right now."

Maria nodded and studied the last batch of bacon that was nearly ready to take out of the pan. Making a quick decision she put away the makings for breakfast and replaced the items with a loaf of bread, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. After a moment she opened the refrigerator again and reached into the bottom drawer to retrieve a fresh jalapeno. Instead of the large breakfast she had intended to make at first she settled on BLT's and chips in deference to his request for something light.

Michael watched her as she topped off his sandwich with sliced jalapenos and cut it diagonally before adding chips to his plate and setting it in front of him. He ate slowly and silently, pushing the plate back when he was finished and glancing over to see Maria picking at her food. He took a long drink of his orange juice to wash his food down and then stared into the glass as he forced the words to surface.

"Stone's dead."

Maria's head shot up and her gaze locked on him as she studied his expression, seeing the pain in his dark eyes. "I'm so sorry," she whispered, knowing that this wasn't easy for him. "What happened?"

He told her, giving her the abbreviated version of events; there was no reason to traumatize her with the details of the mission or Stone's death.

Maria listened attentively, horrified as he spoke of the mission; his partner's death, his journey to escape through the rebel-infested jungle as he carried her body. He was certain that the mission had been a ploy to get them out where Stone could be killed and she could hear the anger in his voice as he talked. Michael was a professional, he had the advantage of alien powers, and yet he had been unable to stop his partner, his friend, from dying in the middle of a jungle.

"You did your best, Michael," she said when he fell silent. He may have seen and done horrific things in the name of his job, but this had been traumatic for him.

"Didn't do any fuckin' good, did it?" he snapped as he poured another glass of juice. She's still dead."

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but, if whoever put the hit out on Stone hadn't accomplished their mission in the jungle, wouldn't they have just come after her somewhere else at some other time?"

"The point is that I was there and she trusted me to have her back… and I failed her."

"How did you fail her, Michael? It sounds to me like she didn't blame you for what happened. You brought her back home to be buried beside Azrael; you kept your promise to her."

Michael looked at Maria, wondering what she would do if she knew what else he had promised Stone.

"Whoever killed her would've kept trying whether you were in the equation or not, and while I know it's little comfort now, at least she didn't die alone. You were with her and that's important…" She swallowed hard and looked down at her hands as she thought of her own experience with something similar. "You got to say goodbye, Michael, and it would've been even worse if you hadn't gotten that opportunity."

His gaze followed her hands as they picked along the edges of the tiles on the surface of the island and he knew she was thinking of her dead lover. He reached out to cover her hands, stopping the nervous movements and he shook his head when she looked at him. "Don't go back there," he said quietly.

He backed away and retreated to the sanctuary of his bedroom, wondering if he had been speaking literally or figuratively. He pushed that thought aside as he focused on what she had said about Stone's assassin; she was right, if the hit hadn't been successful there would've been another attempt, and another, until the job had been completed. In their line of work failure wasn't an option and that rule wasn't any different for assassins.

Michael stretched out on his bed, lying back against the pillows and staring up at the ceiling as he contemplated what Maria had said. He closed his eyes after a while and he let his thoughts wander over the mission and Maria's advice… his mind went back and forth and at some point he began to feel drowsy.

He felt the air shift subtly when Maria stepped into his room without making a sound and he could almost feel her indecision as she stared at him from the doorway. The edge of the mattress dipped as she sat down on the bed and he gave it several seconds before he shifted over in silent invitation.

Maria sighed in relief when he made the gesture and she laid down beside him, offering him comfort in the form of her presence that he accepted without question.


Michael paced as he waited to be called into the office for his meeting with Xavier. He had gotten the phone call that morning and the man's secretary had told him to be there at two sharp that afternoon. He glanced up when the door to the interior office opened and a moment later Xavier's secretary stepped out with an armful of folders.

"He'll see you now, Mr. Guerin."

Michael went inside, pausing on the other side of the doorway as he waited for the old man's instructions.

Xavier sat in his high-backed leather chair behind an ornately carved mahogany desk. "Come inside, Guerin; close that door on your way." He didn't look up from the reports he was signing off on until the operative sat down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. "You'll be at the funeral tomorrow?"

"I'll be there," Michael answered shortly.

Xavier nodded in appreciation and silence fell over the office while the man was busy writing down notes in the reports. "Keep an eye out for Hawkins," he said without raising his head.

Michael's eyes narrowed at Xavier's veiled advice. "That little bastard's no threat to me."

Xavier closed the report he was working on with an audible snap and then tossed it on his desk before looking at Michael directly and meeting his defiant gaze. "That little bastard believes he was in love with Stone; he was in here earlier demanding to be on the team sent in to take out her assassin and he wasn't happy when I had him removed from my office."

Michael sat up straighter. "I wasn't aware the assassin had been identified."

The answer was short and showed no mercy. "You won't be assigned to the team either, Guerin; the Company will deal with this in a quick and clean manner."

Michael knew what that meant. One of his agents had been murdered and Xavier had given the green light to kill anyone involved, even if it meant erasing an entire village from existence. "You're sendin' in a whole team… you're plannin' to take out all the players."

Xavier looked at Michael, and the old man's eyes were calm. He was in charge and he knew his job and the politics of the Company. "This organization does not simply roll over after an attack; Stone's death will be avenged. From the Intel we've gathered it's become apparent that the hit was financed by an arms dealer in South America as retaliation; she was responsible for the loss of one of the most integral parts of his organization last year. Not to mention the embarrassment factor involved when he lost face with his clients. Unfortunately, our undercover Op received compromised information from his source before this last mission and because the mission was pushed through the way that it was, we lost a damn good operative."

Michael nodded. He understood the situation. The Company wasn't going to allow his agents to be ambushed without retaliation. There would be a price to pay. "So, you're makin' it official?"

"The hunt to bring down everyone involved in Stone's murder is underway and you will not be involved in any part of that process; that is official. I will not make any exceptions in this case, Guerin." Xavier started to play with a gold-plated pen, twisting it between his fingers as he watched Michael.

The old man's deep, analyzing stare was making Michael uncomfortable and he tried not to move, knowing it would only reveal his discomfort.

"I don't know how you survived that mission, whether it was sheer luck or something else. Realistically, I should be burying two operatives tomorrow instead of just one, so until this threat has been contained you will not be assigned to another mission. Marcos is under orders to refuse any requests you make for work as well."

Michael released a breath he hadn't even realized he had been holding when the head of the Company finally moved past the how-did-Guerin-survive question. But, wait, stuck at home? For how long? "What the fuck am I supposed to do in the meantime?"

Xavier waved his hand, unconcerned with what Guerin did on his own time. "Do something completely unexpected, Guerin; take a vacation, visit a friend, spend a few days in bed with a couple of wild women… I don't really give a damn what you do as long as you stay off the radar." He stood up and walked to his window, admiring the view. He waited until he heard the operative get up out of his chair and walk to the door before he spoke again. "Just watch your back around Hawkins. I don't doubt that you can handle him but he made the mistake of getting emotionally involved and that makes him dangerous and unpredictable."

Michael thought about the old man's warning as he left the office and walked outside and down the steps to where he had left his motorcycle parked at the curb. He understood Xavier's reasoning for pulling his name from the duty roster and despite his desire for revenge he couldn't fault the decision because it was sound. Didn't mean he had to like it though, he thought.

He threw his right leg over the seat and stared at the key in his hand for several minutes as he wondered what to do with all of the free time that he suddenly had on his hands. He was used to having free time, but it was always on his terms, so this was completely new and other than the funeral the next day he had no plans to fall back on. He shoved the thought of Stone's funeral away along with all of Xavier's suggestions of what he could do with his time and his mind automatically shifted to Maria.

She had been a comforting presence since he had returned home several nights before and she had been careful to avoid pushing him or making him feel as if she expected something from him. He glanced at his watch, noting that by the time he got home she would be putting dinner on the table. She had told him that she was going to run to the store to pick up something for dinner but she wouldn't tell him what it was and now he had to wonder what tasty treat she had in store for him.

He shook his head as he started the motorcycle and eased out into the early afternoon traffic. Maybe he should stop and pick up a movie on the way home. If he got really lucky, he might be able to convince her to have dinner in the living room while watching the movie.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 54 - 5/10

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Tue May 11, 2010 12:25 am

Mary mary – Yep, the guy is shady. But to do that kind of work, something has to be off, in a way. It’s just that in some persons, the “off” part is more proeminent.

Alien friend – Michael definitely needs some time off and to deal with the recent events.

Timelord 31 –
the guy is going to go after maria isn't he.. 1 lover for another
You could be right.

Part 54

Michael knew before the garage door opened up that Maria wasn't home and he frowned as he parked the motorcycle and dismounted. He removed his saddlebags and carried them into the house, dropping them on the washer and pulling the movies out. He paused at the refrigerator and opened the door, leaning down to grab a beer and finding himself eye level with a note written in Maria's familiar loopy scrawl. He pulled it out from under the magnet, reading over it as he straightened up.

"Back soon, had to pick up a few things. Maria. P.S., have something besides a beer." He rolled his eyes and dropped the note on the counter along with his wallet and keys before reaching inside once more and grabbing a beer. "Somethin' besides a beer," he muttered, uncapping the bottle and taking a long drink.

He walked through the house, dropping the movies on the coffee table in the living room and going to his room to get his things together so he could take a shower. After what was probably the most abbreviated shower he had ever taken in his life he toweled off, pulled on a fresh set of clothes, and wandered around the house restlessly.

Where had she gone? She hadn't mentioned going anywhere earlier when he had told her he had to go into the city. He knew she wasn't working; he had heard her when she had called in to Gabriel that morning and requested the next week off. Word traveled fast in his circle so he knew the others in his line of work already knew that Stone had been taken out and he hadn't been surprised when the bar owner had given her the time off without question.

He grew more and more agitated as the minutes flew by and even though less than an hour had passed when she turned into the driveway it felt like it had been much longer. He stormed through the house and jerked the door open just as the truck pulled into the garage. He stood on the steps, left hand propped on his hip and his right hand holding his beer while his thumb was hooked in one of his belt loops.

"Where the fuck have you been?" he demanded as soon as the drivers' side door opened.

"I left you a note," Maria said, shaking her head at his snarling tone. She shot a pointed glance at the beer he held as she got out of the truck. "Which you apparently chose to ignore."

"I'm a grown man an' if I want a fuckin' beer I'm gonna have a fuckin' beer," Michael answered crossly.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" He hadn't been this surly in a while and there was no reason for it now.

"Where have you been?" he repeated, unable to just let the question go.

"I had to run into town to pick up a few things," she answered.

"You weren't here when I got home." Now he just felt stupid for even mentioning it.

Maria paused as she leaned back inside to grab the sacks with her purchases. Damn it, she hadn't considered the possibility that he would come home and react badly to her not being there. "I'm fine," she assured him as she joined him on the steps.

"We just bought groceries last week; what'd you have to pick up?" Michael grumbled, annoyed that he had been worried about her whereabouts.

"Something appropriate for a funeral." She shook her head as she stepped past him to go inside and his mouth shut with an audible snap in response to her words. She smiled at the silence that followed and she knew he was trailing after her as she walked down the hall to her bedroom.

He stood in the doorway as she removed several articles of clothing and shook them out before hanging them in her closet. He wasn't sure what to say or do as she reached for the second sack and he noticed that the logo on the side was from a men's department store. His right eyebrow quirked slightly when she pulled a dark shirt out and held it up, inspecting it for something only she knew to look for, and then she picked up the last item - a garment bag from the local cleaners - and turned and motioned for him to move.

He followed her into his bedroom and watched as she hung the garment bag up on the hook on the back of his door before ripping the plastic off of it. She brushed her fingers over what he recognized as one of the suits that had been in his closet that morning and a moment later she hung the new shirt in front of the suit.

"What're you doin' with my suit?" he asked, although he was pretty sure he already knew the answer.

"I took it into town and dropped it off at the dry cleaners." She fingered the hem of the shirt before glancing at him. "I didn't see a shirt in your closet that really went with the suit for tomorrow so I stopped and picked one up for you."

"Why?" he asked, genuinely confused.

"You've got enough on your mind without having to remember to take your suit in to be cleaned or to pick up a new shirt, and I don't care what you have to say about tomorrow because you are not going alone. I realize you're the tough guy, the I-don't-show-emotions guy, and that's fine, you can still be all of that with me there for moral support." She sighed and turned to walk out of his bedroom. "Now, I'm gonna take a shower and then I'll go make dinner."

He found himself following her back over to her bedroom without making a conscious decision to do so. "I picked up a couple of movies." He shrugged and took a drink from the bottle he still held. "Thought maybe we could have dinner in the livin' room and watch a movie?"

"Okay, that sounds nice." Maria collected a fresh set of clothes and then looked at him. "I know there's some sport or other on TV, so why don't you go see what you can find to watch and before long dinner will be on its way."

He nodded and wandered out into the living room, vaguely detecting the sound of the bathroom door shutting. Before long he ended up in the kitchen and he finished his beer before tossing the bottle in the trash can and then pulled the refrigerator door open to glance over the contents.

Maria stepped out of the bathroom nearly an hour later feeling refreshed and ready to make dinner. She hadn't taken half a dozen steps out of his bedroom before the scent of steak cooking caught her attention and she padded barefoot through the house. She saw the patio doors standing open and she stepped out onto the deck, smiling when she caught sight of Michael leaning against the railing, using the long-handled tongs to poke the steaks on the wire rack.

"Whatcha doing?" she asked, leaning over to grab one of the beers wedged into the bucket of ice at his feet.

"Figured I'd make dinner. I made vegetables, too." He lifted the tongs to pat the foil-covered corn-on-the-cob and baked potatoes.

Maria nodded, deciding that there was no need to lecture him on his choice of meat for dinner; she had agreed to let him pick out one meal each week that didn't fit anywhere in her healthy eating regimen and she always passed along advice about his choices, but sometimes it was best just to let it go.

"Why don't I make a salad to go with dinner," she offered. "Maybe pull out that cheesecake in the freezer and set it out to thaw for later?"

"Can you make some of that strawberry glaze? The one that's spicy?"

"Um-hmm, it won't take long to make. Do I dare ask what you rented?"

He rattled off a couple of titles as he straightened up and flipped the steaks over. "I figured we could both agree on those titles."

"Let me get that salad ready and then we'll settle down for dinner and a movie."

Michael watched her go and then turned his attention back to dinner; he rolled the corn and potatoes so they would cook evenly and then leaned back against the railing once more. He didn't want to put too much thought into her announcement that she was going to the funeral with him or the fact that she had taken the time to have his suit cleaned and bought him a new shirt.

He couldn't deny that he liked the way it felt when she fussed over him, but it was something he was still getting used to. He had promised Stone he would give it a shot, see where it took them, but now he had to figure out how to do that.


There wasn't a single cloud overhead on the morning of the funeral. The sun shone brightly from its position in the perfect blue sky and there was just the slightest hint of a cool breeze blowing through the trees that were just beginning to come back to life now that winter had passed by.

Maria's gaze moved over the group of people who had gathered at the graveside for the simple ceremony and even though she had met most of them at the bar and gotten to know them just a little she was still surprised by the lack of emotion on their stoic faces.

Michael stood at her side, silent and tense, his eyes once again hidden behind the dark sunglasses. He had been distant during the hour-long drive from the house and she had left him alone, knowing that he was intentionally erecting a barrier between them so he could deal with what was coming.

Indigo stood on his other side, his normally irascible grin replaced by a solemn expression, his gaze faraway as he absently cradled his prosthetic arm.

Marcos and Cailyn stood across from them and Maria could see relief mixed in with sadness on the woman's features. She had only met her on a couple of occasions, but Maria could just imagine how relieved Cailyn must be that Marcos had officially retired from active duty status.

Gabriel stood near Father Augustine, his piercing gaze riveted on the priest as if he were seeking strength from the old man's comforting words. He was flanked by Raphael on his right side and a woman she didn't know on his left. The woman's hand rested in the crook of his arm and Maria briefly wondered if she was the same woman who ran the boarding house where all of his girls stayed.

She shifted her gaze to the left, scanning over others that she didn't know and she paused when her eyes ran across Hawkins. He was wearing sunglasses but the hatred rolled off of him and she worried that he would seek retaliation against Michael for Stone's death. Stone may not have meant for her involvement with Hawkins to be more than a cruel lesson, but the man had become emotionally entangled and he and Michael already had an antagonistic history behind them.

Michael glanced down when Maria shivered next to him and he turned his head to follow her gaze. His eyes narrowed when he recognized Hawkins lurking in the background and a part of him wanted the other man to start something. He knew the other man wouldn't try anything at the funeral, whether it was out of respect for Stone or because he knew Xavier would have him brought in to face his wrath Michael didn't know - didn't particularly care either - all that mattered was that Hawkins wait for revenge.

He had hoped that Xavier's warning would be something he wouldn't have to worry about, but he had a bad feeling about the rookie now.


Azrael's Sanctuary lacked the normal background noise of music either from the live band that performed a few nights each week or the jukebox that sat in one corner; the only sound was the low murmur of hushed conversation between the different groups who had settled at different tables around the bar and the occasional clink of glasses as drinks were taken in memory of a fallen agent. Gabriel sat at the end of the bar talking to Raphael and Indigo when Marcos and Cailyn stood up from their table, pausing to talk to the solemn owner before leaving.

Hawkins sat alone in a corner of the bar observing the different groups and he nodded to himself when the couple made their way outside, leaving the five people sitting at the bar. His gaze moved between Guerin and the waitress, studying their body language as they sat together without speaking. Words obviously weren't necessary, he thought when she got up to go and get a fresh round of drinks.

Rage began to boil up in him as he watched them, unable to believe Guerin's ability to sit there and act as if he weren't responsible for Stone's death. Bastard! He got up, standing still for a few moments as the room shifted sideways and then righted again.

Maria glanced at the silent man sitting beside her and she slid her hand closer to his arm, touching him with just enough pressure to get his attention. He glanced at her for just a moment, wordlessly asking what she wanted. "Everyone's made it a point to stop and talk to Gabriel," she observed.

"He just buried the last of his family," he answered after a few moments.

She stared at him as he lifted the bottle to his lips and took a long drink before setting the bottle on the counter in front of him. "He was related to Stone?" Her gaze shifted to the big man and she shook her head. "I had no idea there was any relation between them."

"Guerin's real good at fuckin' up relationships," a slurred voice came from behind them.

Maria recognized the voice before she turned to look at Hawkins and she shook her head at his sloppy appearance. His shirt was half untucked, his tie askew, and it was apparent that he'd had too much to drink already. He stood there, his stance unsteady as he waited for Michael to turn around and look at him.

"C'mon, Guerin, man up to your failure," he taunted.

"Fuck off, Hawkins," Michael growled.

"You got one of the Company's best agents killed." He shook his head when Guerin finally turned around to look at him. "You brag about all of your successes in the field, so why don't you tell everyone about how you got her killed!"

"Knock it off, Hawkins," Raphael warned.

"Tell them!" he shouted. "You tell them how you were supposed to have her back and you let her bleed to death in that godforsaken jungle!" He took a step closer and shoved Michael back against the bar.

"That's your one and only shot, Hawkins… don't touch me again."

"How is it that you managed to make it out alive and she came home in a body bag?" He moved into Guerin's space and his eyes lit up in anticipation when the man moved to stand up.


A single word, that was all it took, and Guerin backed off. Hawkins let his gaze move to her and he shook his head as an idea began to take root in his brain. "Payback's a bitch, Guerin. Remember that."

"Yeah, I'll do that." Michael shook his head and turned back to his drink.

"Hope your memory works better in that capacity… seems that it wasn't working when you should've been remembering that it was your job to keep your partner alive."

"That's it," Gabriel interrupted, "Hawkins, get out of my bar… you have the next 30 seconds and then I'll be tossin' your ass outta here."

Hawkins tossed off a sloppy salute before turning to leave. He had plans to make and it was going to take some time to get it just right.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 55 - 5/24

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Mon May 24, 2010 7:03 pm

Alien friend – Michael is definitely not going to like it, if Maria is hurt.

Mary mary – Don’t worry, Michael is a professional. But the problem is, this time, it will be personal because it’s Maria.

Eva – People who are cracked up aren’t afraid of anything and that’s the big problem. Nothing can stop them. And here, not even Michael’s reputation is going to stop him from doing what he intends to.

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Sweetliberations – Michael is a tough guy on the outside but someone who can be sweet. He needed someone like Maria to knock him off his feet and to give him some good home truths. Which is something Maria has never been afraid to do because she is strong and she can stand up to Michael.

Part 55

Michael was silent on the drive home and as soon as the truck was parked in the garage he climbed out and went inside. He went straight to his room to change clothes, shedding the oppressive weight they represented and pulling on his usual khaki’s and a sleeveless tee shirt. He knew Maria would change as well and then go into the kitchen to start dinner since neither of them had been able to stomach the thought of eating before the funeral.

He pulled a thick hardcover book out of the second drawer in his nightstand and carried it into the living room, setting it down on the end table next to his chair before heading for the kitchen. He picked up the glass of iced tea already sitting on the counter that Maria pointed to when she saw him on his way to retrieve a bottle of beer.

Maria was pulling ingredients out and mixing them together in a bowl and he leaned over her shoulder for a moment, scanning over the items. She nudged him back with an elbow and he took the hint, moving to lean against the counter next to her.

“What’re you makin’?” he asked.

“Barbeque chicken… with a sweet and hot sauce to top it off; why don’t you run outside and get the grill ready,” she suggested. “Take the chicken breasts on the second shelf out and toss them on when you’re finished.”

She smiled to herself when he went to do her bidding without complaint or argument. He didn’t have to say anything for her to know that he wanted things to feel as normal as possible, especially after the words Hawkins had thrown at him. He would never admit it, but on some level she knew he was still questioning his ability to protect after losing his partner in the field. Stone had trusted him with her life and he felt like he had failed her; for him it was the ultimate failure.

“Chicken’s on the grill,” Michael said as he came back in and moved to sit down on one of the barstools, bare feet hooked on the bottom rung as he watched her move around the room. She had changed like he had predicted and she was wearing a pair of comfortably worn jeans with a red shirt. Her feet made a quiet slap-slap sound indicating that she was barefooted and he suddenly realized just how accustomed he had become to evenings like this.

Maria pulled a dish out of the refrigerator and drained the marinade off of the fresh vegetables before transferring them to the grill basket waiting on the island. She just smiled when he leaned forward and made a face.

“What’s all that?” he asked.

“Don’t worry about it; just take it out and put it on the grill.” She placed two small bowls next to the basket along with a couple of basting brushes. “Brush this marinade over the vegetables and the sauce over the chicken.”

“Is that squash in there? I don’t like squash, Maria,” he complained. “I don’t mind all the peppers and the potatoes, but – “

“Then you can pick it out after it’s cooked.” She handed the basket to him and waved him towards the back deck. “Don’t pick it out before it’s grilled, Michael.”

“You wanna eat on the deck?” he offered, pausing at the entrance to the kitchen.

“Yeah, that’ll be nice. I’ll bring the plates and stuff out.”

“Dessert, too?”

Maria laughed and nodded. “Yes, I made dessert, too.”

Michael was turning the chicken over when she stepped out on the deck with the plates and utensils in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other. She set everything down on the table and then went back inside for the promised dessert. He brushed another coat of barbeque sauce over the chicken and then did the same with the marinade and the vegetables.

He looked up when Maria came out and set a cake on the table; white frosting, coconut shavings, and limes were quartered and placed on top. “What kinda cake is that?” Not that it really mattered because he knew it would be good.

“Coconut-lime, you’ll like it.” She sat down and watched him as he put the finishing touches on dinner. “I didn’t realize that Gabriel had a connection to Stone.”

“It was a connection that existed through his brother,” he said to make sure she understood what he was saying.

Maria’s mind was turning over that information and her eyebrows shot up. “Azrael was his brother?”

“Yeah.” He placed the chicken on the plates and added the vegetables before turning the grill off and sitting down across from her.

“You’d never know it,” she mused. “I mean, no one’s ever said anything; I always just assumed that they must have been friends.”

“It’s not exactly somethin’ you advertise in this line of work.” He shrugged as he cut into the chicken. He took a bite and chewed it, enjoying the mix of sweet and hot flavors as they combined to create an interesting flavor. “This’s good,” he muttered around the next mouthful as he picked the squash out and set it aside.

Maria rolled her eyes when he started dividing his vegetables up. “It’s a new recipe.” She turned the conversation back to the current topic before he could get sidetracked. “Were Stone and Azrael married?”

He shook his head. “Huh-uh, but they were together for a long time. Never worked the same assignments because that’s too risky; emotional involvement only complicates things and it makes the operative an easy target. It gives the enemy leverage against you once it becomes known that there’s any kind of relationship between operatives and they can target that weakness.”

“You saw their relationship as a weakness?” she asked.

“It would have been if they had taken it into the field.”

Maria nodded, surprised that he hadn’t immediately jumped on her question and expounded upon the weakness of such a relationship. “Do you know how they met?”

“She was sent in to kill him.”

Maria was so shocked by his answer and the emotionless delivery that she dropped her fork on her plate where it clattered loudly. “Sent to kill him?”

“She wasn’t workin’ for the Company back then; she worked freelance and she had been hired to kill him. Azrael had already been in the business for a while and he got the drop on her. She said he held her hostage until he convinced her that she was working for enemies of our government and that he had been targeted because he was a threat to her employers.”

“So, not exactly love at first sight?”

He snorted at the notion. “Lust at first sight, maybe.” He finished off his second piece of chicken and grabbed one of the smaller plates she had set on the table next to the cake. “They were together for quite a few years before he was killed and she never got involved with anyone else; she maintained that loyalty to him until…” He swallowed hard. “Until she was taken out… she never compromised that.”

Maria handed him the knife she had brought out to cut the cake and he removed a sizable hunk and dropped it on his plate. He didn’t talk about Stone’s relationship with Azrael as any kind of great romance, there were no flowery words, and it was obvious that he didn’t really understand it, but she could hear the grudging respect in his tone. “Did you ever work with him?”

“Oh, yeah, on quite a few of the missions when we were in Africa; he was an enigma in the field, but he was one of the best agents I ever worked with. He was relentless in the field, driven to save the lives of everyone in the villages we were sent into; he was deadly in the field, so no one questioned his need to save people who we weren’t required to save. It was more than just the assignment, but I’ll be damned if I ever understood it.”

“Did you ever question it?”

“Only once.” He didn’t elaborate on his answer; he wasn’t particularly interested in remembering Azrael’s wrath at being questioned by a rookie field agent. It had been one mistake he had been sure never to repeat.

“Was he killed on an assignment?”

Michael nodded. “He was on a mission in Yemen trying to save some tourists when his team was ambushed… most of his team was lost on that mission. Bastard managed to get all of the civilians out though.” He pulled himself out of his thoughts and cut into his cake, taking a bite and chewing slowly.

“It’s never easy to lose someone,” she said quietly.

“No, it’s not.” He licked the icing off of his fork and glanced at her, recognizing the faraway look in her eyes that indicated she was back in that other universe. He wanted to ask, but he was afraid that she’d just bring up her dead lover and he wasn’t ready to deal with that.

“Back in high school I had a friend named Alex Whitman… I may have told you about him when I first met you and bombarded you with all that information about my universe. We had been friends since we were in grade school and he got drawn into the alien abyss and it ended up costing him his life.”

“He was taken out by that Tess character, right? He was translatin’ some book or somethin’ and she screwed with his brain?”

Maria wrinkled her nose at his commentary and nodded. “Yeah, that’s basically what happened. It was a difficult time; his death was so sudden and unexpected… it was hard to deal with and it nearly destroyed the rest of us as a group.”

He watched her, tilting his head to one side as he studied her features. “And as individuals?” he asked.

“It was… painful. He was such a good person and he was a great friend.”

Why the hell had he asked that question? She was moving into dangerous territory, he realized. Her thoughts were going to lead her right back to her dead lover if he didn’t find a way to get her off of that subject. “It’s even harder when that person means somethin’ to you.”

She looked up at him, seeing the distant look in his eyes and she reached over to cover his fisted hand without thinking. “It wasn’t your fault, Michael.”

“She wasn’t scared to die; her only concern was bein’ buried next to Azrael.”

“She must’ve loved him very much.”

“I guess it was fitting that she’d go out that way; she died doin’ what she was trained to do.” He shook his head. “She hadn’t really been alive since his death and she told me she’d just been buyin’ time, waitin’ till she could be with him again.”

Maria maintained contact with him when he leaned back in his chair and stared out into the desert, lost in his thoughts. He didn’t understand that kind of connection and she wondered if he was trying to figure it out or if he was still going over every moment of the mission, looking for some small thing that would’ve changed the outcome of events.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 56 - 6/6

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Alien friend – Michael hadn’t realized until Stone died that she had been a friend, to him, and not just a colleague. So her death is painful and Maria can relate because she has lost a friend, too.

Sweetliberations – Thank you. But the stories also help the writing. Those characters, both in TLC and in TMWDB, are both the same and different. So we need to work on the characterization and where to go exactly with Michael and Maria. We won’t lie: it’s not easy. Being faithful to the characters while writing them being different is hell. But it’s rewarding in the end, to take that risk and still maintain the essence of who the characters were in the show.

Mary mary –
I hope Michael will be able to accept his friends death for what it was. In their business it's to be matter how well planned stuff happens and in this case it wasn't well planned at all and the responsible party has been dealt with and there's no such thing as hindsight.
That’s so true. Michael’s job is dangerous. No matter how well planned the missions are, danger is still lurking around. Michael knows that. But it’s still hard to accept when the person dying is a friend.

Timelord31 – Thank you for reading.

Part 56

Several days later Maria was finishing a load of laundry, carrying the folded stack of towels and washcloths through the hall when she realized that Michael was no longer napping on the couch where she had left him after lunch. He had been quiet since their conversation over dinner the evening of the funeral and she had thought it best not to push him to talk. He would talk when and if he felt like it and usually he would talk over meals, but after that he would withdraw into himself again.

He wasn’t in his bedroom so after placing the towels and washcloths in the linen closet she walked out onto the back deck. She found him slouched down in one of the deck chairs, his bare feet propped up on the railing; his eyes were closed behind his sunglasses and an open, hardcover book pressed against his chest. The sun was shining from the west side of the house since it was early afternoon and she decided that he was safe from sunburn since the it was high enough in the sky that it wasn’t going to fall over the deck as it headed for its evening destination.

She went back inside to take a shower and by the time she had done that, stopped in the kitchen to grab a couple of beers, and gone back out to the deck he was awake and reading his book again. She set one of the bottles on the table between them before sitting down and she took a drink of her beer, patiently waiting to see if he would speak.

He had been reading all week but he hadn’t bothered to talk about the books, and she knew it was more than one because the covers were different and they changed every other day or so. They had to be good to keep his attention and she would’ve been happy to check for herself but she had no idea where he was getting the books from. She didn’t realize she was leaning so far forward in her chair as she attempted to see the name of the author on the spine of the book until he moved and she nearly fell.

“Barry Holmes,” Michael said, tipping the book back towards him so she could see the cover more clearly. “It’s the third book in the Countdown to Extinction series.”

Maria shook her head, not recognizing the name of the author or the books. “Have you been reading the series long?”

He shrugged. “Since I was 13.” His hand slid over the worn cover almost reverently as he stared at something only he could see. “The director at the orphanage had the first few books in the series and he let me read them; he was always tryin’ to come up with ways to keep me occupied and outta trouble whether it was readin’ or learnin’ to restore motorcycles. He was the only person who gave a fuck about me when I was growin’ up and I sure as hell didn’t make it easy for him.” He turned the book over to stare at the cover for several long moments. “I have the entire series of first editions, leather-bound, gold-tipped pages, and all autographed by the author, but…” He held the book out to her and she accepted it, opening the cover and reading the inscription inside.

“It belonged to him?” She glanced back down at the tiny scrawled words before looking back up at him. “Tom?”

Michael nodded. “Yeah, he left them to me in his will… he was killed trying to break up a fight between a couple of guys in the exercise yard at the orphanage.”

“Oh, Michael, I’m so sorry,” she said quietly. She saw his jaw clench and his fisted hand moved fractionally where it rested on the table and she reached out to cover it. She remained silent when he didn’t acknowledge her words beyond a single nod, but she felt his hand relax under hers.

“You like science fiction?” he asked after a while.

Like science fiction?” she asked with an ironic snort. “Hell, I live science fiction.” She carefully held the book out to him. “So, it’s sci-fi?”


“Tell me about it.”

Countdown to Extinction is a story about this legendary race of humans that lived on Earth 40,000 years ago and they’re forced to leave the planet because of an ecological cataclysm. So, they find another planet and their race inhabits it for thousands of years, but somethin’ happens – not gonna tell you what because I can already see you wanna read the books – but anyway, their species begins to die out and the only chance of survival they have is to return to their home world.”

“The world that was in the middle of an ecological cataclysm?” she asked speculatively.

“Um-hmm, and they know they can’t just send what’s left of their civilization to Earth without first makin’ sure that it’s ecologically and environmentally stable, so they have to send a scout ship to make the journey first to make sure that the planet in habitable. Only, the ship crashes due to some technical problem and everyone on board is killed.”

“Well, the alien ship crash landing on planet Earth seems to be a running theme regardless of universe,” Maria said, laughing.

“Anyway…” Michael rolled his eyes. “The ship is retrieved by the authorities and after years of study they slowly begin to repair it. Meanwhile, there’s a team workin’ to translate the language they discovered onboard the ship and they eventually break the code. The translators learn that the race that sent the ship to Earth were ancient inhabitants of the planet and that they were returning in order to secure a safe living environment for their dying civilization and after a lot of debating and arguments the powers that be decide to allow a mission to take the ship and search for the race.”

“You’ll have to let me borrow the first book because I wanna read it now,” Maria said as she slouched down and propped her feet up on the railing, unconsciously mimicking his pose.

Michael made a sound of agreement before falling silent. He was getting hungry but she was still holding his hand across the table and he knew if he mentioned dinner she would break the contact and go inside. “Hey, when’s Gabriel expectin’ you back at work?”

“Day after tomorrow.” She smiled when his stomach growled and she turned her head to look at him, but her gaze landed on their clasped hands. When had that happened? she wondered, swallowing hard. It felt right… right in a way that nothing else had felt right in so long and that scared her. “I should get dinner started,” she said, standing up and letting her fingers trail over his hand.

“I need a fresh beer,” Michael said, standing up and following her inside. He was in completely new territory and he had no idea how to act or what to say. Promising Stone that he’d give this thing a shot was one thing, but knowing how to do it was a whole other ball game, he thought.


Michael was pulling off of the highway to take the exit that would eventually lead them into the quiet neighborhood where Azrael’s Sanctuary stood when his phone rang. He leaned forward to grab it out of the cup holder and flipped it open as he lifted it up to his ear.


Maria watched him as he took the call and it didn’t take long before she detected annoyance in his voice. He disconnected the call after several minutes and threw the phone on the dashboard.


“One of Xavier’s secretaries… the old man wants to go over somethin’ in my report.”


“Yeah, and with it bein’ nearly three cross-town traffic’s gonna be a bitch.” He wasn’t happy about being called in but he didn’t have a lot of choice when it was Xavier doing the calling. He shook his head as he acknowledged that part of the reason he was pissed was because he had planned to spend the evening at the bar. With Maria. A meeting with the old man could take hours if he was in the right mood.

He pulled up in front of Azrael’s Sanctuary, shifting into park as she released her seatbelt and leaned forward to lift her bag up off of the floor.

“Well, I would say enjoy your meeting but I have a feeling you’re not looking forward to it, so just get it over with and I’ll have a cold beer waiting for you when you get back.”

He nodded and waited until she was safely inside before pulling out onto the street and heading into the heart of the city.


Maria stepped into the bar and stopped to speak to Raphael before continuing inside. It was still early enough that there were only a few people there and she wondered where Gabriel was as she started working. The first hour dragged by and she hoped that Michael had made it to Xavier’s office without incident. He hated traffic and he had no tolerance for stupid drivers so with any luck the man would keep him in the meeting until at least some of the early evening rush hour began to ease.

She answered the phone behind the bar, expecting it to be a customer or a vendor and was surprised when the voice belonged to a woman claiming to be Gabriel’s friend. After a short conversation she hung up and walked to the front of the bar.

“Hey, Raphael.”

“What’s up, Maria?”

“A woman named Sharon Sherwood just called; she said Gabriel needs a ride home because he’s ready to go and she’s having a problem getting his keys away from him.”

Raphael glanced at his watch and frowned. “Awful early for Gabriel to be in that shape,” he mused. He checked the roster on his desk, mentally going over the few people who were there and deciding that things would be alright if he was gone for about 15 minutes. He dropped the security gate in front of the lockers and set the code using the keypad on the wall. “If anyone wants to leave, just tell ‘em to hold tight an’ give ‘em a drink on the house.”

“On the house?” Maria shook her head. “Gabriel will kill both of us for that.”

He laughed because he knew she was right. “He’ll give us a pass on this one,” he assured her. “If the guys wanna leave and come back for their gear later they can do that; I’m gonna set the locks so they can leave but no one can come in until I get back. Sanchez is here so I’ll ask him to keep an eye on things.”


Maria went into the back after Raphael had left, pulling down several bottles of alcohol to replace a few that were nearly empty. She made the rounds, checking with the guys who were sitting around the bar, making sure they had what they needed before going back to getting things ready for the evening crowd.

The phone behind the bar rang again, drawing her attention and she hurried to answer it. This time it was one of the other waitresses, arriving early for her shift and unable to get inside since the door was locked. She let the other woman know that Raphael would be back shortly and to just wait by the door, but something about her voice alerted Maria that something was wrong.

“Rachel, what’s wrong?”

“You have thirty seconds to get outside without a word to anyone or Rachel is gonna be the victim of an accident,” a male voice growled into the phone. “I know Sanchez is keepin’ an eye on things, Maria, and if you say anything to him and he comes out that door instead of you, you’ll be responsible for two dead people.”

Maria swallowed hard as she identified the voice. Hawkins.

“The seconds are tickin’ away fast.”

She didn’t stop to think when she heard the muffled scream coming from the woman; she glanced at Sanchez and saw him talking with one of the other men and she walked through the large room and into the foyer.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 57 - 6/22

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:10 pm

Alien friend – Michael didn’t have many good people in his life, you’re right about that and the few he has, he loses them.

Mary mary – Not all of the men working with Michael are good men. Hawkins is proof of that.

Timelord31 – Michael is on the warpath, that’s all we can tell you.

Eva –
I smirked with that line. I could just hear her say that, the way only Maria could comment a question.
Maria and her sharp tongue, it never fails. She always has a smart comment to make.

Sweetliberations –
So I have this image of you (even though I have no idea what you look like) posting this last chapter.
Huh, there’s two of us, actually. In two different countries.
There's this maniacal expression on your face - a evil gleam twinkles in your eyes. Your posting this, knowing everyone's mouths are about to drop and you just looooooooooooove it.
We swear that the cliffhangers aren’t on purpose. Well, not all of them, anyway. They just… happen sometimes.

Author’s Note: Apologies for not posting as normal on Monday! Life got busy and it was overlooked amidst the chaos that is real life!

Part 57

Michael walked down the steps in front of the building that housed Xavier’s offices, going over the past few minutes in his head. The secretary sitting at the desk in front of the old man’s office had informed him that she didn’t have a single idea who had called him because she was the only one working in the office and Xavier was out of town on business until the beginning of the following week.

An uneasy feeling settled over him and he pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Maria’s number, standing next to the truck while he waited for her to answer. When she didn’t answer after three calls he scrolled down to find the number for the bar, hitting the call button and waiting for the phone on the other end to be picked up.

He didn’t immediately recognize the voice on the other end and it took a few moments before he identified the voice as one of the regulars at the bar. He asked to speak to Maria and after being told that he hadn’t seen her in a while Michael demanded to speak to Sanchez. He waited impatiently for the interrogator to pick up and he climbed back behind the wheel so he could fight rush hour traffic; at this rate it would take nearly two hours to get back to the bar.

“Sanchez here, what’s up, Guerin?”

“Where’s Maria?”

Sanchez looked around, suddenly realizing that he hadn’t seen the talkative woman for the past few minutes. “That’s odd,” he murmured, glancing around.

“What’s odd?” Michael demanded.

“Raphael had to leave for a bit to get Gabriel so he’s got the bar on lockdown – “

“So, no one can get inside?”

“Right, but that doesn’t stop anyone from…” He paused and turned his head when he heard the buzzer at the front entrance. “Guerin, hold on a second.”

“No! Do not put the fuckin’ phone down!” His ranting was a waste of time because Sanchez had already done just that. He slammed his fist down on the steering wheel and cut off several people, crossing over the median in the center of the road to do a U-turn and head back towards the freeway.

A burst of static from the other end of the connection had him holding his phone away from his ear for a moment and then he heard Sanchez yelling at someone and he realized that it wasn’t static, but the sound of the phone being dragged across the counter.

“Sanchez, what the fuck’s goin’ on?” he shouted.

“One of the waitresses was outside; she said she was grabbed on her way to work and she’s been roughed up…” He gritted his teeth, knowing how the next bit of information was going to be received. “She said Hawkins used her to lure Maria out of the bar… he’s got her, Guerin.”

The silence that fell over the phone was unexpected and somehow worse than the yelling Sanchez had anticipated. When Guerin spoke again his voice was emotionless, his words chilling both in content and delivery.

“He’s a dead man.”

“Guerin, don’t do anything stupid, man. We’re gonna put guys on the streets to find him; let us – “

“You’d better look fast, Sanchez.” Michael disconnected and threw the phone in the seat beside him as he crept along in rush hour traffic. Where would Hawkins take Maria? She was a pawn, nothing more; a strategic playing piece he was using to draw Michael out because Hawkins had a need for revenge. A need born from a non-existent relationship and a need that was going to get him killed.

His heart hammered in his chest as he went over all of the possible revenge scenarios Hawkins might choose to employ in an effort to make him suffer for Stone’s death. The younger agent wouldn’t be stupid enough to take Maria back to his place, Michael thought. He would want someplace that meant something, someplace that was somehow symbolic to his deranged line of thinking.


Maria looked around her unfamiliar surroundings as she tried to figure out where her captor had taken her, but she drew a blank. She had never seen the house before and it was in a part of the city that she hadn’t been in yet. Her hands were handcuffed in front of her and he hadn’t let go of her arm as they walked from the car into the house so she couldn’t even attempt to free herself.

She tried to jerk her arm free of his grasp but that only angered him and he shoved her to sit down on the couch. She righted herself and glared up at him defiantly, angry that he had basically kidnapped her and dragged her all over the city. She had the feeling that he had never been to the house before because it had taken him a while to locate it and he hadn’t had a key because he had picked the lock to get inside.

He wasn’t familiar with the interior of the house and it showed when he moved around, his gaze moving over everything as he tried to memorize the layout. He held a gun in his right hand and she watched him warily when he raised that hand to scratch the top of his head with the back of his hand. He was sweating badly as he paced back and forth in front of her, blocking her path to the front door.

“You are in so much trouble when Michael realizes I’m missing… he’ll come looking for me.”

“Stupid bitch,” Hawkins muttered as he turned to look at her, his eyes manic. “I want him to come lookin’ for you, why else would I have taken you?”

Maria bit her bottom lip to keep from answering that question. She didn’t really want to think about why he had chosen her. She moved back away from him when his restless pacing brought him closer to her and she swallowed hard when he suddenly stopped right in front of her and his gaze slid over her in an unflattering manner.

He laughed, the sound cold and humorless as he shook his head. “Your honor is safe, Maria; I’m not a rapist, not even to get back at Guerin. You’re not my type anyway, and I prefer my women more… mature.”

Maria didn’t know whether to be relieved or angry with his last remark, but she quickly shifted back to the part where he said he wanted to get back at Michael. “That’s what this is? Revenge? Killing me won’t – “

“Why the fuck would I kill you? You’re just the bait, girl! I needed you to draw Guerin out, nothin’ more; beyond that you’re of no use to me.” He snorted derisively. “Your existence is of no consequence to me.”

“What’re you planning to do?” She didn’t really expect him to reveal his plans so she was surprised when Hawkins answered her quite directly.

“I intend to kill him.” His expression turned gleeful, making him appear somehow more dangerous and deranged. “Not quickly, y’know…” He shook his head. “No. I’ve read the autopsy report and I’ve read his report for that mission he fucked up… I know how long she suffered… I know every excruciating breath she took… and he’s gonna die the same way.”

Maria watched him as he spiraled more and more out of control and she knew he would carry out his plan if someone or something didn’t stop him. She also knew it was only a matter of time before Michael found them and she was helpless to stop him from walking right into a trap.


Michael’s frustration with the situation, the bumper to bumper traffic, and the lack of answers from Sanchez and the others out looking for Hawkins’ location was beginning to push his temper into the red zone. His head jerked to the right when his phone rang and he reached out to snatch it up, ignoring the rush of relief that flooded him when he saw Maria’s name blinking on the small screen.

“Maria?” He swung around a stalled car to pull onto the shoulder, stepping on the gas and heading for the nearest exit that would get him off of the freeway and onto the back streets of Los Angeles.

“Bet you wish you knew what kinda condition your woman’s in right now,” Hawkins said, enjoying it when the other man cursed him.

“You’ve already crossed the line, Hawkins, and if she’s hurt in any way you’ll regret it.”

“What’s the matter, Guerin? Got a problem with watchin’ your own woman bleed out from a gunshot wound? It’s a slow, painful death… and I know exactly how long it’ll take for her to draw her last breath, so you might wanna hurry.”

The sound of Hawkins laughing was the last thing he heard before the man hung up on him and the phone exploded into pieces. “Fuck!” he yelled, his voice echoing off of the interior of the truck. He shook his hand out, dropping what was left of his phone and wiping his hand on his leg, ignoring the blood that welled up and dripped from the wound.

Hawkins was playing with him, trying to make him react without thinking, Michael realized, forcing himself to take several deep breaths and think rationally. He would take her somewhere that held significance for him, but where? He went over the possibilities in his head, quickly discarding most of them without considering them for long.

She had been missing for just over two hours and every minute was just adding to his anxiety. He had to control his emotions; that type of involvement could cause him to make a mistake and end up costing Maria her life. The rational side of his brain insisted that Hawkins wouldn’t hurt her this early in the game because she was more valuable alive than dead.

That other part, the part that he couldn’t afford to give free rein to, was digging up every fear that had began to manifest within him since learning that Hawkins had taken her. He pushed those thoughts down as far as he could get them, knowing the danger involved if he didn’t focus solely with his mind.

He drove around as he started to once again mentally go over the places Hawkins could have taken her. Another half hour passed before he suddenly became conscious of the constriction in his chest and he slowed down when it started to worsen. He was going in the wrong direction, he realized, making a U-turn in the middle of the street and testing out which direction caused the pressure to ease.

It was just like the last time, the indicator that something was wrong with Maria making itself known this way. He could almost feel her fear opening up a new channel, heightening his senses and that provided a small bit of comfort because at the very least it meant she was still alive. He no longer questioned that connection, just accepted it and allowed it to lead him to her.

Michael glanced around at the neighborhood he was driving through and confidence flooded through his system when he recognized where he was – it was Stone’s old neighborhood. This was a good thing; he had been to the house that had belonged to Azrael and Stone so he knew the way the floor plan was laid out. Hawkins had never been there and that meant he had just made one of the biggest rookie mistakes in the book.


Maria watched Hawkins as he prowled around the room, clearly becoming agitated by the amount of time it was taking for Michael to find them. He had tried to call the other man several times and he had become enraged when his calls had gone unanswered. She had a feeling that it was intentional on Michael’s part; he was attempting to keep Hawkins unbalanced so that when he finally did show up the man wouldn’t be expecting him. She couldn’t come up with any other reason for him to ignore the phone calls.

The air in the house was suffocating and her wary gaze followed him as he used the barrel of the gun to scratch his temple. His movements were jerky as he checked the screen on the laptop he had set up on the coffee table; he had tapped into the cameras linked to the security system built into the house and he growled when he didn’t see any indication that the man he was waiting for was there.

“He thinks I won’t kill you,” he mumbled as he wiped sweat from his forehead and paused in his pacing to turn and stare at her. “But I will… Oh, I want to see him dead for letting her die in that godforsaken jungle, but I think I want to see him suffer first.”

“You think it’ll bother him if you kill me?” She shook her head, swallowing hard before forcing the next words out. “I hate to disappoint you, but he won’t – “

“Don’t try to lie to me!” he shouted. “You think I haven’t seen the way he looks at you?”

“I think you’re seeing something that isn’t there.”

“It doesn’t really matter one way or the other, does it?” Hawkins checked the screen again before reaching for her phone and hitting the call button once more. “You’ll be too dead to worry about it.”

“What do you hope to accomplish by killing us?” She had to keep him talking, distract him because she just knew Michael was coming and he was going to need every advantage she could give him to get inside undetected.

“What part of suffering followed by a slow, painful death did you not understand?” He shook his head and threw the phone down in an armchair when the call went to voicemail again. “Damn it! What they say about blondes must be true because you’re about a stupid bitch,” he snarled.

“You suffered a loss, Hawkins, and I understand that… more than you know to be honest, but this isn’t gonna make you feel any better.”

“You don’t know anything!” he screamed, waving the gun at her.

Maria shifted from one side to the other, scared that in his unstable mental state that he would pull the trigger. “Hawkins…”

“You don’t understand, you can’t possibly understand…”

He calmed suddenly and she followed his gaze to a picture on the mantle above the fireplace. She recognized Stone in the photograph, though her smiling countenance seemed so far removed from the woman Maria had known so briefly. She didn’t know the man in the photograph with the agent, but she assumed it was Azrael, the only man she had ever loved.

Hawkins reached out to touch the frame and after several long moments his fingertips ghosted over the image of the woman he sought revenge for.

“She wouldn’t understand this,” Maria said quietly.

“Don’t act like you knew her!”

“Michael was her friend, he carried out her last wish – “

“He got her killed!”

He turned and brought the gun up, firing it towards her, and Maria’s heart leapt up into her throat when the bullet shot past her so close that she could feel the heat from it brush against her cheek. She was in such a state of shock that she never saw Michael as he moved past the camera over the garage door to pick the lock in seconds and quietly slip inside.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 58 - 7/5

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:41 am

Alien friend – Someone getting killed? Would we do that?

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Mary mary – Yep, Michael is closed and Hawkins’s days are numbered. Although, maybe not quite like you imagine it.

Eva – Michael will do everything to save Maria. And he is a professional, facing an insane man who will make mistakes. That helps, in these circumstances.

Part 58

The shock slowly began to wear off only to be replaced by a feeling of awareness and she realized that the feeling could only mean one thing: Michael was somewhere in the vicinity. She didn’t know if that meant he was in the neighborhood or in the house, but she had to keep Hawkins distracted to give Michael as much of a chance to get inside undetected as possible.

She swallowed down her own fear and let her concern for Michael’s safety override everything else. She looked at her captor, watching him as he stood at the fireplace, his gaze locked on the woman in the picture. “You’re right, Hawkins, I didn’t know Stone very well, but I do know Michael and I know what he went through to make sure her last wish was carried out.”

“Her last wish,” Hawkins muttered. “What would you know about her last wish?”

“I know that she wasn’t afraid of dying; she wanted to let go, to be with Azrael again, and she didn’t die alone. Michael never left her side, Hawkins. How many people… agents, operatives, whatever, have you seen left in the field to die alone because the mission came first? How many have you known to be left behind because they died while they were carrying out their mission and the Company wouldn’t risk other agents to retrieve the body?”

“You think you know all that? You know exactly what he wanted you to know!” he screamed, beyond angry that she would dare to think she could ever understand his pain.

“I know that he carried her body back over miles of jungle with soldiers or rebels tracking him and he didn’t have to do that. He did it because he’s an honorable man and he was keeping a promise he made to his dying friend. Do you think it was easy for him to watch her die and know that there wasn’t a damn thing he could do to help her?” She shook her head. “If you honestly believe that then you don’t know that man and you never did; he might be many things, and not all of them good, but he always honors his word. You should know that about him if you know nothing else.”

“You defend him blindly,” Hawkins snapped, stalking across the room to tower over her as he studied her. “You love him so you see him differently, you believe that there’s good in him… you’ve never seen what he’s capable of in the field.”

Maria couldn’t believe the man’s audacity. “I won’t argue with you about who or what he is; the point of the matter is that he was under no obligation to the Company to carry Stone’s lifeless body through the jungle, missing his flight, and possibly compromising his own ride out of there. He did it out of loyalty to a friend; he honored her last request and brought her home to be buried next to the man she loved.”

From the doorway Michael saw Hawkins’ profile and he knew Maria had just pushed the man over the edge. Every protective instinct he had went into overdrive as Hawkins raised his arm and brought his hand down, slapping her hard enough that it was sure to leave a mark. He ran across the room and jumped on the coffee table, using his right foot to give him the leverage he needed to launch himself at Hawkins and take him down without taking Maria with them.

Maria watched them as they fought, her eyes trying to follow the location of the gun at all times. She was terrified that he was going to shoot Michael and her eyes widened when the gun suddenly hit the floor. She quickly got to her feet, intending to take possession of it, but Hawkins managed to get his hand around it first.

“Maria, get out!” Michael shouted. He knew without looking that she hadn’t followed his order; she didn’t have it in her to walk away while he was in danger.

Maria winced at the sound of flesh and bone connecting before Michael shoved Hawkins away and then went after him. Their combined weight drove them to the floor and they crashed into one of the wood and glass end tables, upsetting a lamp and several other items and shattering the glass.

They rolled across the floor, exchanging blows for several minutes before Hawkins managed to free his right hand, bringing it up and slamming the grip of his gun against the side of Michael’s head. The blow stunned him, but not long enough for Hawkins to free himself as Michael twisted free and brought his elbow up to collide with the man’s nose.

Hawkins screamed in rage as blood poured from his nose and his thumb brushed against the safety, pushing it into the off position as he took aim at Maria. “You think I won’t kill her, too, Guerin?”

Michael knew from the positions they were in that unless he could somehow get between Hawkins and Maria that he had no way of stopping what the man intended to do. He also knew he would never let it happen. “What’s the point of killin’ her, Hawkins?” He held his hands out, feeling the tingling in them as the power started to build. “I’m the one you want, so why pull a civilian into it?”

“Even I know you’re not that stupid, Guerin.” Hawkins shook his head as he moved closer to Maria. “I read the autopsy report, so I know Stone was taken out with a hollow-point bullet… I saw the damage that bullet made as it tore through her body. It’s not the same as a round from a sniper rifle, but hell, a .45 caliber at close range… that’ll do more than enough damage and we’ll just sit here and wait while she dies a slow and agonizing death.”

Maria saw Michael’s eyes darken and she watched as his hands flexed and he tried to contain the power that was amassing within him. Hawkins was pushing all of the wrong buttons and he had no idea what he was messing with. The problem was that Hawkins had moved behind her and that put her directly in the path of Michael’s wrath if he lost control. It would devastate him if he hurt her while trying to save her and she was trying to think of a way to help him when she heard the man behind her ready the gun for firing.

She shivered as she felt the cold barrel of the gun brush lightly against her neck and her heart started to pound mercilessly. Her gaze shot to Michael when he spoke, breaking the tense silence.

“I’m sure you’ll want it to be as close as possible to the way it was,” he said, his eyes never wavering from Hawkins. He could only hope that Maria was paying attention to what he was saying.

Hawkins paused a moment and he stared at Michael in confusion. “What?”

“Stone was shot on the right side… you’re on her left.”

He was telling her to move to the left, Maria realized.

“I don’t need you to tell me where she was shot!” Hawkins bellowed as his left hand came down to clamp on Maria’s shoulder and he held her in place. “You might just as well have pulled the trigger yourself.” He suddenly moved away from her and around the couch to grab a file folder off of an armchair. He turned and threw it at Michael and photos of Stone, pre- and post-autopsy fluttered down to land on the floor and coffee table.

Maria felt sick to her stomach as she saw the wound that had taken Stone’s life and she knew only too well what it felt like to watch someone you cared about slowly draw their last, pained breaths. Her gaze shot up to Michael, relieved to see that his eyes hadn’t moved from Hawkins; he hadn’t fallen for the distraction.

“You did that to her! You let her die!” Hawkins paced agitatedly but the gun never wavered from his intended victim.

Michael didn’t bother denying the other man’s accusations; he knew he had done everything within his power to help her even though he had known he couldn’t save her. But, he’d be damned if he lost someone else that he gave a damn about like that.

Maria leaned over to pick up one of the pictures, startling Hawkins and he whirled around to face her, bringing the gun up with the intention of firing it. The shot went wild when Michael shouted and his hands came up, releasing a burst of energy that picked Hawkins up and threw him across the room. He impacted with the wall and dropped to the floor, stunned.

Michael hurried across the room to grab the gun that Hawkins had dropped; he released the clip and emptied the round loaded into the chamber before throwing it on a nearby shelf. He aimed a kick at Hawkins’ ribcage before hauling the man up off of the floor and slamming him into the wall, holding him there and meeting his glazed eyes.

“You have no idea what I could do to you,” he growled menacingly.

“You’ll have to kill me to stop me,” Hawkins rasped.

Michael’s fist shot up, connecting with the man’s jaw and making his head snap back. “I could kill you without ever givin’ it a second thought,” he snarled, so filled with rage that he didn’t even notice that Hawkins was slumped back against the wall, unconscious.

“Michael, stop!” she yelled when she saw his right hand flexing as he prepared to deliver another blast. She ran around the destruction the two men had left in their wake and she wrapped her hands around his right wrist. “Michael, stop! Let him go!”

Her voice slowly penetrated the haze of anger and hatred that was pounding through his veins and he turned his head to look at her. As the fog lifted and her words began to register he looked back at Hawkins and he released him, letting him fall to the floor in a graceless heap.

He reached for her handcuffed wrists and checked his pockets for the pair of keys that went to the pair of handcuffs he carried. The keys were universal and he quickly freed her from the restraints and threw them on the floor. He started to massage her wrists, feeling the fury building again when he saw the bruises that marred her flesh from the rough treatment she had received at Hawkins’ hands.

Maria looked down when she felt something rough against her skin and she frowned at the hastily-wrapped bandage covering his right hand, but before she could ask him about it a group of armed men swarmed into the room.

Michael shifted back into his usual demeanor without blinking an eye and he answered the questions being thrown at him from two different men. Another man that she didn’t know pulled her aside and started to take her statement, asking questions about Hawkins’ mental state, his actions, and the chain of events.

The agents were quick, efficient, and didn’t detain them any longer than necessary. The agents were wrapping up their line of questioning as Hawkins was being helped up off of the floor and she turned to look at him when he suddenly started shouting and pointing wildly at Michael. She felt her heart rate increase when his rant extended to Michael, arms and hands waving erratically in the air as he screamed about the other man being some sort of freak who had thrown him across the room with nothing more than a wave of his hand.

Relief flooded through her when the other agents shook their heads and a couple of them even laughed. They had no reason to believe his insane ramblings and thankfully there wasn’t a single agent there who gave any credence to what he was saying.

“I think we’d better take him straight to the psyche hospital,” the one who seemed to be in charge said.

“We’ll drop him off there and meet you back at the office to finalize the paperwork, Collins,” another agent said as he shoved Hawkins toward the front door.

“We’re gonna take off if you guys are finished,” Michael said.

“Nah, we’re done here, Guerin,” Collins said as he closed his small notebook and slid it into one of his vest pockets. “We’ve got your statements, Hawkins is obviously sufferin’ from some sort of mental break, and Xavier said to just cover the bases so we can close the file out and to let you know that Hawkins won’t bother you again.”

Michael shook the man’s hand and reached out to take Maria’s arm, guiding her out of the house and down the street to the truck. He helped her inside and made sure her seatbelt was buckled before slamming the door and going around to the other side.


They were silent as they entered the house more than an hour later and Michael walked straight back to his bedroom, stripping his shirt off and throwing it on the bathroom floor. He grabbed a washcloth and turned back to the sink, freezing when he saw that Maria was already there.

“Get the first aid kit,” she instructed as she adjusted the water temperature. She took the washcloth from him, running it under the warm water and then tending to the small cuts and scratches on his face.

When she was finished she turned her attention to the messy bandage on his hand. She carefully peeled it off, wincing when it caught on the wounds. He shrugged one shoulder and held his hand under the water, loosening the bandage from the wounds and allowing her to pull it the rest of the way off.

After removing several small pieces of plastic that had been embedded in his flesh she cleaned his palm, applied an antiseptic, and then bandaged it up once again. She was aware of him in a way she had managed to avoid and ignore for months, but the adrenaline still pounding through her veins was allowing that feeling to override all others.

Michael was watching her as one of her hands came up to trace over his dog tags where they lay against his chest and he caught her hand, holding it under his as he studied the bruises on her wrist.

“I told you to get out,” he said, his voice shaking with a mix of anger and leftover fear. “He could’ve fuckin’ killed you… he was unstable and he was on the edge and he had a gun trained on you!” he yelled. “Do you understand how close you came to dyin’ just so he could get back at me?!”

She stared at him as he paced back and forth in front of her, his emotions boiling so close to the surface that she knew it was only a matter of time before they erupted. She felt that pull becoming stronger and when he suddenly stopped and faced her every sane, rational thought fled.

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The Man Who Didn't Belong (M/M - Mature) Ch 59 - 7/19

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:24 pm

Timelord31 – Thanks for reading.

Mary mary – The operatives working for the Company have no reason to believe Hawkins’s tale about Michael’s powers. He has always been careful and never slipped so nobody knows or even suspects a thing.

Alien Friend – Yes, there are enough witnesses to Hawkins’ behavior to testify that he was off balanced and that something like this was bound to happen. The guy is going to get locked up for a while.

Eva – Michael has always kept a tight leash on his powers because before Maria, he couldn’t control them. But thanks to her, he has learned to use them and this time, he used them perfectly.

Part 59

There was nothing gentle about the kiss, not a single ounce of tenderness in their touches as they frantically tore at each other’s clothes. Desperation fueled their desire and neither of them gave an inch as they fought for control of the kiss. They broke apart when the need for oxygen overrode everything else and they stared at each other for several minutes as their harsh breathing slowly began to ease.

“If I ever tell you to fuckin’ get out in a situation like that – “

“Don’t lecture me on how to act in dangerous situations! How dare you think you have any right to – “

Their voices clashed as they shouted at each other at the exact same moment and silence suddenly fell over the room.

Michael’s gaze moved over her as he took in the blouse that he had unknowingly torn in his haste to reach her skin and something that he had no name for brought the feelings of rage and anger under control. Need, want, and desire still pounded through his veins, but the darker feelings that had been riding at the outer edges receded until the only thing left was emotions that he didn’t understand.

Maria couldn’t stop her eyes from sliding over his tall, muscled body and now that the feelings she had struggled for so long to contain had found their way out they had no desire to go back into confinement. She wanted, needed, to know this man as intimately as possible and she knew she had passed the point where she could stop herself from taking what she wanted.

They reached for each other at the same time and the brief pause allowed them to temper their need with gentleness. Michael was expecting her to put the brakes on at any moment but when she deepened the kiss and reached up to thread her fingers through his hair he felt the difference and he knew with an unexpected certainty that she was ready.

His big hands slid down over her sides, pausing on her hips momentarily before moving down to grip her thighs. Her hands shot to his shoulders when he suddenly lifted her up, the motion effortless and so smooth that it didn’t interrupt their kiss. He groaned when he felt her legs lock around his waist and he turned to carry her out into his bedroom.

Maria was barely aware of it when he moved, but the moment he lowered her to the bed and his weight settled over her she couldn’t stop the moan that escaped past her lips. Her hands traced over the ridges of his spine before moving on to explore the muscled walls of his chest, pausing each time she came into contact with evidence of the cruelty he had suffered in his chosen career.

Michael raised himself up on his knees and she followed him, sitting up to avoid breaking the kiss. He found himself in a brand new position as he eased her torn shirt off of her shoulders and dropped it on the floor before reaching out to remove her bra. He had never in his life ever really taken the time to pay attention to anything beyond the basic need to seek satisfaction. He had never cared about anything but getting laid; sure, he had always made sure that his partners were satisfied, but this was so different from anything in his vast knowledge of sexual gratification.

Her touch brought feelings and emotions he neither recognized nor comprehended to the surface, but for the first time he found himself allowing them the freedom to flow through him and become something… more. He let the backs of his fingers trail over her small breasts, enjoying the sensation of soft skin against his own rougher flesh. He lowered his gaze when he felt her fingertips brush against the ridged scar from an old knife wound and he froze when she paused for a moment before leaning in to press a kiss to the ugly reminder of a time best left forgotten.

He’d had plenty of lovers over the years, but he couldn’t remember their names and most of the time he couldn’t recall their faces and he really had no desire to anyway. He knew at that moment that if this was the only night he ever spent with this woman he would never forget her name or her face no matter how much time passed.

He was pulled out of his musings when her hands grasped his belt and unbuckled it before undoing the snap and zipper on his pants. He had no idea how many times he had been touched by a hand other than his own, but when she reached for him, taking him in her small, warm hand he nearly came undone.

While he made it a point to always satisfy his partner it was even more important to him to make sure Maria was satisfied. This time it wasn’t just a matter of his pride at stake; her satisfaction was more important than his need to get a lover off. He wanted to please her, to take her to the very edge of ecstasy and to look into her eyes as she came apart in his arms.

Maria watched him as she stroked him, adding just a little more pressure each time until she found the perfect touch. His eyes were nearly black with need, his brown irises nearly unnoticeable at the outer edges. She bit back a smile when he grabbed her wrist to stop her movements and after several moments he stood so he could rid himself of the rest of his clothes.

His big body was muscled and tanned, conditioned from the hours he put into training, exercising, and carrying out missions. She had no way of knowing where the different scars had occurred or what had caused them and she knew he would probably never tell her, but she realized she wanted to know. Not at this moment, of course… no, at this moment she wanted to know what it was like to make love with this rough, harsh, and at times, cruel man.

She stood when he motioned for her to join him and the hands that she knew to be capable of inflicting pain were incredibly gentle as they removed the last of her clothing and then traced over her flesh. She was surprised when he stepped back and just let his eyes look their fill and she didn’t feel the slightest hint of self-consciousness under his hooded gaze.

Michael reached for her hand and pulled her up against his body as he lowered his head to take her mouth in a deep kiss. He backed her up, easing her back to lie on the bed and following her down. He braced his left hand on the mattress as he slowly levered himself down over her, groaning when her soft curves molded to his hard body in a way that had never felt so right.

He reached between them, his fingers tangling in the short curls as he tested her readiness and he smiled against her lips when she shifted restlessly at his touch. He gave in to her wordless request, pleasuring her with his fingers as he worshipped her body with his mouth.

Her touches set him on fire and further escalated his need to bring her the release she so desperately needed and after several minutes of the sweet torture he withdrew his fingers and lined himself up before bracing his weight on his forearms and meeting her gaze. The smile on her face as she gave him the slightest nod was quite possibly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and he knew the moment their bodies became one was going to be burned into his memory for the rest of his life.

Maria’s hand wrapped around the chain his dog tags hung from and she used it to pull him down to her, fusing their mouths together as they remained motionless. Michael was exhibiting a rare display of patience as he waited for her to let him know that her body had adjusted to him and she was ready for more.

Michael looked down at her when she broke the kiss and their gazes locked and held for several moments as her legs came up to wrap around him. No woman had ever looked at him so openly or with such acceptance and he had no words to describe the way that made him feel. He felt an odd sensation in the depths of his chest when she framed his face in her hands and whispered that she was ready.

There was no hesitation in her touches and she held nothing back when she kissed him, and he was overwhelmed by the expression on her face as he began to move within her. He could feel her pleasure on a level that shocked him but instead of questioning it he just accepted it and left that connection between them open.

The moment of culmination, when it happened, was unlike anything he had ever experienced and he had been certain he had pretty much seen and done it all. He was hit with flashes, feelings, and emotions from Maria… his counterpart… he didn’t know where they came from or why he was so affected by them. The scenes or flashes passed by so fast that he wasn’t certain exactly who or what he was seeing in that passage of time.

He had the strangest feeling of weightlessness, as if the earth’s gravity no longer applied in the room. He could’ve sworn he was seeing stars, constellations, galaxies that he had never seen before and he felt as if he was being propelled through space itself. He had experienced electrical shock before and his body felt like it was going through something similar, but not as unpleasant. The strange, but shockingly erotic sensation seemed to last for an extended length of time and he could still feel the buzz of the intense orgasm humming through his body as he nearly collapsed on Maria.

Holy fuck! he thought weakly. No wonder his counterpart had never felt the need to step out on her. With what little strength he had left he rolled over onto his back and did the unexpected when his arm stayed around her and he pulled her against his side.

Maria rested her head over his heart, listening to his labored breathing and his pounding heart as his body slowly began to calm. She wasn’t surprised when she realized that his eyes had closed and as his breathing evened out she knew he had fallen asleep. Before she had time to allow herself to become annoyed by that the events of the day caught up with her and the exhaustion took its toll and she followed him into dreamland.


Michael slowly came awake, stretching and letting his arms drop back down to the mattress at his sides. The moment his left arm hit the sheets he shot up into a sitting position and he glanced around the dark room. He had never had sex with a woman and then slept with her, so this was a brand new experience for him. He placed his palm flat on the mattress and he frowned when he realized that the sheets were cool to the touch, indicating that she had been up for a while.

Why wasn’t she there? He had expected her to be the type to be there the morning after and his disappointment at her absence surprised him.

He climbed out of bed and went into the bathroom, taking a quick shower before pulling on a pair of khaki pants and going to look for her. He followed the hall that led from the bedrooms to the rest of the house and he could see the faint light creeping in through the deck doors as the sun began to rise. He heard the sounds of ragged breathing and choked sobbing coming from the living room and he hurried to find her.

Maria was sitting on the floor in front of the couch and she looked like the very picture of misery personified. Her body was curled up in a little ball as if she was in pain and trying her best to make it stop.

Had she been hurt in some way? Had he been too rough? He rushed to her side, concerned that she was hurt and that he was in some way responsible for it; feelings he didn’t recognize surfaced as he crouched down beside her and reached out to take her face in his hands.

Her green eyes were swimming in tears as she lifted her head to look at him and he felt their impact like a punch to the gut. “Maria, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?”

“I shouldn’t have done it,” she cried, her voice raspy. “I shouldn’t…”

“Shouldn’t have done what?” he asked, his voice rising because he was worried and he didn’t know how to express that. “Maria, tell me – “

“I betrayed him.”

The words cut like a knife and hurt worse than anything he had ever experienced. How could she regret what they had shared? He had opened himself up and this was what he got in return? Anger exploded within him, pushing the hurt back into a safe place where he didn’t have to deal with it, and he shot to his feet as he moved to stand across the room.

“That’s what this’s about?” he shouted, angrier than he could remember being in his entire life. “You betrayed him?! Then what the fuck was that last night?”

Maria didn’t know how to respond. “It was a mistake,” she whispered, knowing it would hurt him but not wanting to lead him on either. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

Every dark emotion he possessed surfaced at the same time and he felt them swirling uncontrollably inside of him. They built to unmanageable proportions too quickly for him to rein them in and they suddenly burst free. Anything that wasn’t secured to the walls suddenly started to fly around the room and he didn’t know how to control this unexpected show of his powers.

Something moving too fast for him to identify shot past Maria, grazing her temple and leaving a small, bleeding wound. His regret and concern was immediate and the maelstrom stopped as suddenly as it started. The odd assortment of items froze for the space of a heartbeat and then dropped; he was unaware of things breaking and glass shattering as different items hit the floor around them.

He could hear his own voice in his head, screaming at him for hurting her and telling him to go to her, to take her in his arms and make her feel safe. It was his voice, but at the same time, it wasn’t his voice, he realized.

He moved to sit next to her, checking the wound and feeling relief slam into him when he saw that it was superficial. Without thinking about it or delving too deeply into his actions Michael wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against his body, rocking her gently and doing his best to soothe her.

Maria clung to him as a wave of comfort washed over her and she was enveloped by the feeling of safety. She was exhausted from the traumatic events of the day before, the lack of sleep, and the guilt eating away at her. The war being waged between her heart and mind suddenly retreated as the warmth of peace settled over her and temporarily quieted the questions, doubts, and accusations all screaming to be heard.

Michael glanced down at her when he felt her body suddenly go lax and after several minutes of just watching her he stood and lifted her up in his arms. He carried her down the hall to her bedroom and carefully placed her in the bed, pulling the covers up over her and then standing back to watch her once more.

He reached for the picture frame on the nightstand next to her bed and he stared hard at his counterpart as jealousy flared to life inside of him. He placed the frame facedown on the nightstand and walked out of the bedroom as he struggled to figure out what he was going to do next. He needed answers and he wasn’t going to be able to sleep while his mind was this active.


When Maria awoke later that morning she immediately remembered what had happened the night before and the guilt hit her hard and fast. How could she betray her Michael that way? She had made love with this Michael without a single thought about her own Michael; it hadn’t been a moment of insanity or a meaningless night of passion. Feelings had been involved… his and hers and she had seen the hurt in his eyes when he had found her crying over her betrayal.

As she thought back to it now she could almost see him shutting down, burying the hurt and the betrayal that he must have felt as he had witnessed her reaction. He had opened himself up, allowed her inside in a way that he had never allowed anyone else in, and she had no idea what she would be dealing with when she faced him.

She heard the deck doors shut and she knew he was coming back from his morning run. His footsteps paused at her closed door for just a moment before continuing on to his own room and a moment later his door slammed shut. He wasn’t going to be pleasant to deal with when they came face to face and she knew she had no expectation of civil behavior from him after what she had done to him.