3B - Michael Ending
Just then demon makes a grab for Maria. Suddenly a white blinding light fills the room. The monster is knocked off his feet, flying a few feet through the air. When the light clears, Maria sees a familiar figure. Brown spiky hair, handsome face, jeans and a white t-shirt.
"Michael!" she calls out as her heart leaps. In the background, she hears Buffy finishing off the leader and Spike doing the same to the rest of the demon clan.
Michael rushes up to Maria.
"Are you okay?" he asks worriedly.
Pitching her face up to him, she quips, "Just doing a little demon smacking."
"I feel sorry for the demon. He never knew what hit him," Michael grins.
"Oh, he knew alright!" she adds.
"Gave him a full dose of DeLuca, huh? Next time, he'll think twice before messing with you," he teases.
"Yeah, I'm dangerous so watch out," Maria smiles bravely. Then sags into Michael. The close encounter with the demon left her a little shaken.
"It's okay. I'm here now," Michael soothes, as his arms tighten around her.
Michael sees the bloodied cuts on Maria's hands. He hated the thought of anyone harming Maria. If those demons weren't dead, he would gone after them again. Michael waves his hand over her wounds. They vanished without a trace.
Maria calms down. Michael's last statement and subsequent healing of her wounds fuels a banked down fire inside her. She pulls out his embrace.
"Well, it's about damn time you came! Where the hell have you been?" Maria says angrily, sparks flying all over her pixie face. Michael interrupts whatever she had to say next with a hard kiss. She struggles, althought halfheartedly, then sinks into his kiss. It felt like it had been forever since he last kissed her. Forever and three months, six days and twenty one minutes at least.
The sound of a male voice interrupts them. "Well, well! Let me guess. Mortimer, I presume?" Spike says sarcastically.
Michael and Maria disengage. "I'm still mad at you," Maria shoots Michael a warning.
"For what?" Michael asks.
"Oh you know what!" she tells Michael.
"You're not doing too well there, Mortimer!" Spike intejects.
"Michael! His name is Michael! What is with you and these names?" Maria snaps back at Spike.
"Cool little power you got there," Buffy interrupts and looks at Michael.
"Must come in handy," Spike quips.
"Yeah, it does," Michael pins a cold look at Spike.
Spike grins and backs off slightly.
"How did you find me, Michael? How did you where I was here?" Maria questions him.
"Liz told me. I was, ah ... I thought I’d ... then I ran into .. her," he points to Buffy.
"He’s a regular Shakespeare, isn’t he?" Spike offers.
"Shut up, Spike!" Buffy tells him.
Maria glares at Spike.
She turns her attention to Michael. "You were worried about me?"
Michael gives a slight shrug. Maria starts to fume when ...
"Yes, I was. I don't want to see you hurt," he confirms. Michael absently rubs Maria's hands, the ones that were bloodied just a short while ago.
Michael turns to look at Buffy. Slightly angling his head towards Maria, he tells her, "Thanks!"
"No prob," Buffy accepts.
Michael swings his gaze back to Maria. They stare at each other silently. Seconds pass.
"Somebody say something here, the suspense is killing me!" Spike interrupts.
Buffy nudges Spike. "C’mon, I think we’re decidedly de trop here."
"I don’t know .. I’d like to de HER trop any day," Spike adds.
Michael throws a hostile glance at Spike.
"Hey!" Spike hold his hands up in the air as if to say, "Kidding!"
The other prone figure in the room awakens with a groan. He’s a man in his early forties, tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. "Ooooh, what happened?" he asks as he shakes his head. The quartet start to walk over to him.
"You missed one helluva show, mate!" Spike responds.
"It’s okay," Buffy assures him. The man blinks, then turns his gaze to the four people standing before him.
"Last thing I remember I was on my way to meet someone and then ... nothing!" he explains. "Who are you?" the man asks Buffy.
"Something out of a bad dream," Spike quips.
"Watch it, Spike!" Buffy cautions.
The man notices Maria coming towards him.
"Daddy?" Maria asks hesitantly, almost disbelieving. Michael squeezes her shoulder, a sign of support. Spike smirks.
"Maria?" the man asks her.
"Yes," Maria almost whispers.
"I’m Jake Donnelly. I’m a friend of your father’s," he clarifies.
"Oh!" Maria’s face drops.
"Anthony really wanted to see you. But he had to leave in a hurry. He knew you were coming here and asked me to meet with you instead."
"Where is he?" she demands.
"I can’t tell you that," the man tells her sadly.
"Why not?" she inquires.
"He wanted me to give you a message," he says.
"He said, Tell her that I love her. That I’m thinking of her. That I never forgot her. He brought you something too," Jake adds.
"A stuffed dog?" Maria wants to clarify.
"You found it?" Jake asks. Maria nods.
"Why didn’t he stay? Why did he say he wanted to see me, send me a ticket and not even be here?" she says, on the verge of tears.
"I’m sorry. I don’t know," Mr. Donnelly says apologetically.
"Why don’t you know? You’re his friend, aren’t you?" she wails.
"I am, but he didn’t tell me anything else. I’m sorry," he says again.
Jake's thoughts hide the truth. In his mind, he says, "I wish I could tell that your father works for the FBI as an undercover agent, that he planned on seeing you here, in this old haunt of this. But a case came up, as it usually did. FBI agents dropping like flies, their families disappearing, a murderer on the loose. Then a frantic call asking me for a favor: intercept your arrival in case the murderer came after him and his family." But Jake's mouth remains closed. It isn’t his place to tell.
Tears threaten to pour out from Maria’s eyes. Michael puts a comforting arm around her shoulder then gives her another hug. He knows how she feels. He's searched for his roots, his father all his life too.
"Well, this is peachy," Spike comments. "I didn’t know I had to witness the second act of Reunion!"
"Get a life, Spike!" Buffy counters.
Maria pulls slightly away from Michael and gives Jake another sad look.
"I'm sorry, Maria," Jake tells her.
"So am I!" she moans. Tears fall.
Jake staggers as he tries to walk. Buffy is there to help him up.
"Let’s get out of here. Sewer air does awful things to my hair," Buffy smiles.
"Your hair? And here I thought it was your whole face!" Spike adds.
"Play nice, Spike or my face is the last thing you’ll see!" Buffy shoots back.
Mr. Donnelly and Buffy start walking out. Spike doesn’t follow them. Buffy motions to Spike to leave Michael and Maria alone. Grudgingly, Spike follows them out.
Michael dries Maria’s tears with his warm hands. "It's going to be okay," he tells her gently. He hated seeing her cry. And wanted to offer her the same comfort he gave him that rainy night. He takes her in his arms again. Maria buries herself in them. Moments pass in silence.
Maria bids farewell to the silly dreams about her father. He's never going to be there for her. Not like Michael anyway. Despite all of Michael's harsh words and sometimes cruel actions, she realizes that Michael would always be there.
Michael interrupts the quiet air with a question. "Who was that other guy anyway?" he asks, trying to distract Maria from her pain.
"Just some guy. Spike," she smiles a little.
Michael looks at her with a slight frown. "I don’t like him," Michael declares.
"Yeah, he is annoying," she sniffs. Michael just nods.
"C'mon, let's go," he suggests. They emerge from the sewer and into the night. Maria breathes in the fresh air, relieved at surviving through the ordeal in the sewer.
The two start walking towards town but Maria stops to glance around, as if searching for someone.
"Who are you looking for?" Michael asks her.
"Spike!" Maria tells him.
"Spike? I thought you didn't like that guy." he asks, incredulous.
"Yeah, but I kinda wanted to thank him," she explains.
"For what?" he questions.
"For saving my life," she says somberly.
Michael shrugs. "C’mon, I’ll take you home." With that, he hauls her towards him and they resume walking towards town.
"When we get back, you and I need to do some serious talking," she mentions to Michael.
"I know," he responds.
Spike emerges from some nearby shrubbery. "Any time, Mildred. Any time," he says a little wistfully and heads towards the vampire bar.