TIME WASTED

For: leelee7688By: Cypria

Diana has a close call with a suspect and was almost killed. Life is short, will she have the courage to bring the ones she loves closer to her.

Sign…Look at that shirt; Diana thought to herself, Marco was on the other side of the Briefing Room in one of his standard "New Age" shirts, as he called them. Frantically she thought they looked somewhat "odd" but it was Marco and that somehow made it alright. Where is Tom? Diane reached for the phone to call him but it rang just before her hand could grasp it, she answered cautiously.

"Skouris."

"Hi mommy," came Maia's cheerful voice.

"Maia, aren't you suppose to be in class right now?"

"I told Alana I didn't feel good and wanted to call you."

"Why?"

"Mommy I'm scared." Diana was instantly alert.

"What is it honey, was it a vision, are you okay?"

"No it nothing like that," Diane could detect a slight sigh in Maia's tone.

"Then what is it honey?"

"I'm scared that it's taking you to long to…" Maia trailed off and Diana heard a definite sigh from the other end.

"Maia?"

"He would wait forever if he could mom, he would never give upon us, but he can't life forever and neither can you."

"What do you mean honey?" Wait forever who?

"I'll see you tomorrow Mommy. Take it easy later. Bye." Mia said before she hung up the phone. Tomorrow? Diana was going to pick Mia up as school in less than three hours, tomorrow? Diana was still holding the receiver in her hand when Tom came in.

"Hey we gotta go, there's some trouble at the center."

"Trouble, oh wonderful."

A few renegade members of NOVA that had evaded arrest were after Isabelle and Sean. They came in as Sean about to leave, in an instant the lobby was on fire and spreading fast, glass shattered and flew towards the guards. Sean stood in the middle of the flames unharmed as the NOVA agents approached.

"Where's the girl?"

"Gone, decide this wasn't the place for her."

"Liar, I'll give you to three before we burn the whole place down with every one in it…One…Two…Thr…"

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By the time that NTAC had reached the center it was almost over. The fire were out Sean had already healed most of the wounded. The Nova agents mostly unharmed were restrained.

"Sean what happened here?"

"Oh Hey Uncle Tom, just spring cleaning is all, we got five NOVA agents their all yours."

"How far did the fire spread?" asked Diana.

"It didn't get to the school halls Diana, Maia's fine." Sean assured her. "Actually I think everyone's fine, this could have really turned bad but I think we're good."

"Some good you turned out to be, I could have dealt with them easily but Sean insisted I hand them over to you so here ya go." Came Isabelle's voice, as she descended the stairs. "They're mostly alright," she called as she turned to Sean.

"Traitor," someone yelled. Before Tom or Diana could turn two shoots rang out.

This isn't real it can't be real. Diana life was spinning around her, her childhood, Josh, NTAC...the spinning slowed down and Diana was now able to see more specific events. The day the 4400 returned, the day she adopted Maia, many of their happy days but then another memory came the day Maia disappeared, suddenly she was inside of herself reliving that day. She stood in the theory room with Tom and Marco with Maia's diary on the table. She heard her own thoughts, as if she were speaking to herself.

"I did find out how I'm going to die…It's kinda cool actually," Marco stated almost as if in passing. How could he say something like that to her of all people, she knew death was inevitable but she had never actually thought about how close it could be.

Just as suddenly as she entered her memory she found herself being pulled away from it, toward darkness and noise.

"Diana are you alright?"

"Sean are you sure she'll be alright?"

"Uncle Tom, I have dealt with this before and far more serious injuries?" Diana opened her eyes just enough to see Tom and Sean where kneeling over her.

"I know Sean but you never know."

"And what is that suppose to me…"

"Will the two of you shut up and tell me what happened."

"You see she's fine." Sean said forcefully.

"Fine, what happened?"

"Diana you where shoot, Sean had to heal you, but I still think that you should get checked out at NTAC Medical."

"Nice to know you have such faith in me, Uncle Tom," his pride bruised Sean rose to leave.

"Sean thank you, for saving me, I owe you my life."

"No, you saved helped save us and I have to admit this place wouldn't be the same without Maia's contagious smile everyday." Tom helped Diana into the car, leaving the other agents to clean up the, hopefully, last NOVA attach.

After arriving at NTAC Diana spent the next few hours between the Doctor and paper work on the attach. It wasn't until after 10 that Diana and Tom headed for home. Still shaken up from the days events Diana began the drive home just as it began to rain. Not long after getting in the car Diana realized she wasn't heading home at all, she was running on auto pilot and didn't know the destination until she pulled up to the curb of Marco's house.

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Diana had no idea how long she just sat in the car or how slowly she walked to the door, it was already after 12 and all the lights in the house were off. The House looked deserted right now, almost haunted, and being soaked to the bone did not help to make her feel any better.

After gathering her courage a bit, Diana knocked on the door just once at first then another and another until she was pounding on the door. She began to bit her lip and reconsider this whole thing. Wait what am I doing here, at Marco's house, in the middle of the night, why am I so nervous it not like I haven't been here before, but all of the other times Maia was here too. Still pounding on the door, it's Marco, we're just going to…to do nothing, absolutely nothing because…because neither of us is ready for that kind of relationship. Maia's words raced through Diana's mind, He would wait forever if he could mom, but he can't life forever. What if he died before …he died…what if she died, she almost had today and he still had no idea how much he mattered to her, to them? It may not be official on any level but he was a part of the family, at least that's what Diana thought, what about Maia. Maia, she needed to call Maia, tell her not worry that she was late. No Maia already knew…I'll see you tomorrow Mommy. Take it easy later…Why couldn't her daughter be a bit more specific with her visions.

Maybe she should just go home and call him tomorrow when she wasn't in such a frenzy of emotional confusion and apologize for the dents she was bound to have left in his door. Slowly Diana began to turn back to her car she stood a moment on the porch and watched the rain come down, why was Marco's house so far form the curb, she mused.

"Diaanaaahhh," Looking back Diana saw Marco's face in the doorway glasses-less and his hair befuddled. Yawn. "Diana is that you?" For a moment Diana considered running away, some how the words "Are you going to grill me outside or do I get the right to a blanket and some coffee first?" came out. Marco stepped aside rubbing his eyes as he looked at his watch, Diana stood in the entry way shivering as Marco directed her towards the living room sofa. She sat down rubbing her arms and hands as Marco left to get some tea and towels. When he returned they sat in silence sipping on their tea, Marco finally glanced at the clock and saw it was now nearly 2.

"Guest bedroom is at the top of the stairs on your right, I'll lay out something for you to sleep in if you like." Marco stated as he rose and returned to the kitchen.

"Marco I wanted to talk to you," Diana followed.

"Well you've had almost two hours to do it, I'm going to bed now." Diana stood in the kitchen alone for a few minutes until she heard one of the bedroom door's close, then she climbed the stairs to the room Marco had indicated, she found a pair sweatpants and a large shirt placed on the bed. No sooner had she changed than she was sound asleep in the bed barley bothering to get under the covers.

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When Diana awoke, a few hours later from the most recuperative sleep she had ever had, it was to the smell of pancakes that had drifted from downstairs. Slowly stretching Diana sat up in the bed, getting her first good look at the room. On the night stand beside the bed laid Marco's watch, an empty glasses case and few other personnel items. A laugh came from down stairs followed by a few giggles as Diana realized she was in Marco's bed. Quietly Diana got out of bed, still in the pajamas Marco had given her, and walked to the top of the stairs to listen. The sun was barely up, Diana couldn't help but wonder who could be here so early.

"Let's give your mom a few more minutes before you go wake her up." Maia, when could she have gotten here?

"Okay, she'll be in a real good mood with this breakfast ready for her." Diana began to climb down the stairs.

"Good she wasn't herself last night."

"Did you guys talk last night?" Diana froze on the stairs to listen.

"You mean this morning," a small giggle came form Maia.

"You know what I mean, Marco."

"No, no we didn't, she was real tired as soon as she got her she went straight to bed." No I did not but I may as well have. "Why?"

"I'm just a little worried about us is all."

"Us, who us?"

"All of us, I like us Marco, I like this."

"This sleeping on Tom and Alana's couch and coming here at 5 in the morning in your PJ's." Diana could hear them both laughing now as she took another step down.

"No you silly, making breakfast for mommy with you, being here together, I like it."

"Well maybe I could teach you how to make the pancakes your self then you could make them for Diana."

"It wouldn't be the same, you could come over and make them for us, right?"

"Maia right now I don't think that's a good idea, Diana she likes things they way they are with the two of you."

"Why did you stopping caring about us Marco, you don't come over anymore or play with me."

"Maia, listen to me okay, I care so much about the both of you, and you know I'll be here for you if you need me as long as I can."

"I want you to be with us forever, Marco."

"You know I can't be Maia." Their was silence for a moment as Diana dared to go down couple more steps. "I'm sorry I Maia, but I read to read you diary, we were looking everywhere we could to find you." Maia muffled a few sobs before Marco continued. "Hey it's okay, shhh, this doesn't change anything Maia, I'll still be here for you until the very last day."

"But I want to stay with us Marco, I don't want you to die."

"I wouldn't mind myself but I'll do what I have to do to try and keep the both of you safe. I love you both but that doesn't make your mom care about me."

"She loves you to Marco I know it, and so do I, she just can't see it."

"Hey you let the grown ups worry about this stuff okay, go wake up your mom and I'll take you to school, I left her a key so she can lock up," Maia mumbled an okay, "now get." He said with a mock serious look. Diana turned and mad a mad dash back to Marco's room.

"Good morning mommy, Marco's going to take me to school, he left a key for you to lock up and we made breakfast for you down stairs, bye."

"Oh, okay, I'll see you later, make sure you thank," but Maia was already out the door.

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Diana didn't see Marco at all that day, she tried to find him in the theory room a few times but he was never there and neither of the guys seemed to know where he went. When Diana went to her car she noticed Marco's was already gone, they sue to wait for each other but I guess not anymore. It was a very lonely drive to the center to get Maia, she sat in the car for few moments just sitting not really thinking just feeling very low until… knock knock

"Ahh," Diana turned to her window and saw Maia's teacher, who's name she couldn't remember, right beside the car, Diana opened the door and got out.

"I hope I din't scare you to much there." She said smiling,

"No I was just thinking, work you know."

"Oh yes, Maia's very proud of her parents, both working to at NTAC, helping to keep us all safe, she says. Oh that reminds me here you go," she handed Diana a small piece of paper. "Maia said you would be needing another ticket, I look forward to finally meeting your husband at the pageant."

"Excuse me?" Diana already had her ticket, both working, what?

"Yes Maia said her father would be able to make it after all, as soon as he dropped her off this morning she came running over and asked for another ticket."

"Maia's father," Marco, she thinks Marco, but why? "Oh he will be able to make it that's…good, did you speak to him at all."

"No Maia showed him how to sign her in and then he left, he must have been in a great hurry, nearly forgot to give Maia a farewell hug, she had to remind him. Is everything alright you seem rather flush."

"Oh yes everything is fine, thank you." It was quiet on the drive home, silent actually, neither spoke, Diana face was like ice compared to Maia grin, neither looked at the other until they were inside the apartment. "We need to talk." Maia took her backpack to her room, when she returned Diana sat at the dinner table, Maia joined her.

"Are you angry with me?"

"That will depend on your explanation for what your teacher told me." Diana sat back crossing her arms.

"What did she say?"

"That you told her both of your parents worked at NTAC, that Marco, your father, was coming to the pageant."

"It's okay isn't it, for Marco to come? I mean we use to do all sorts of stuff together so I just thought he could come."

"Maia…Marco has his own life, I don't really have a problem with him coming but I don't understand why you would say he was your father."

"He used to part of our life and we were a part of his, why did you have to go and mess it up mommy? I invited Marco because I want him to watch, I never said he was my dad, I just asked for another ticket, but I…I don't know if I want him as a dad but I know I don't want anyone else."

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The next morning Diana took Maia to school early and waited by the theory room door for Marco to get it. He didn't notice her at first his was flipping through some notes as he came down the hall, he came to a sudden halt when he saw a pair of feminine feet in front of the theory room door.

"What brings you down here so early Diana." He kept his head down, not looking at her.

"We need to talk and you've been avoiding me."

"I've just been preoccupied, there's been a lot go'n on around here."

"Marco it's about Maia."

"Is she okay?"

"Yea she'd fine, a little nervous about her pageant is all."

"Oh yeah, I understand if you don't want me to go, Maia just asked and..." Marco said as he unlocked the door to the theory room.

"Marco please…I don't want things to be this way." Marco stepped inside and Diana followed, closing and locking the door behind her.

"This is the way you wanted it," Marco sat down at his desk and began to sift through papers, Diana placed her hand over his, stopping him.

"I was wrong," Diana placed her other hand on his face to turn him. "We want you back in our lives."

"We?"

"Yes we, but I was thinking that some changes may be in order." Their lips touched gently but Marco pulled back before it could deepen.

"Are you alright, I've never known you to change you mind so quickly."

"I've wasted enough time for the both of us, I don't know what I'd do if I lost you. I want to make sure that everyday you know how much a care about you." Diana bent down for another kiss and this time it was returned, passionately.

Maia sat outside her class room smiling like a fool, Tyler walked by and asked what she was so happy about. Maia just smiled and said she was going to finally get her daddy.