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Title:Maia's Message to Marco.

Author:Keenir.

Many thanks to my beta Purpleyin, who has helped me improve this immensely. All errors are my own.

Summary:Maia calls Marco and gives him a piece of advice…so does he listen? Should he?

Feedback is welcome.

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Maia'd called him early this week, warned him, told him not to go to work this week. "You need to stay home," Maia'd said, "all week long," her tone telling him she was in full oracle mode. So he'd stayed home, yesterday, the day before, and today. He was having spaghetti-os right now, sitting back and watching CNN, when Brady called, telling him what was going on. Some lunatic – a vengeful teen out to get revenge on the people who'd let his 4400 mother die – had broken into NTAC, and was holding Skouris, Garrity, and Baldwin hostage. Oh, and the Theory Room was shot up too.

'Stay home,' Maia had said. Was it that she'd wanted him to stay safe, keep his mind working so he could solve a problem coming in the future. Oh how much he wanted to know just what it was that needed him, particularly when he had to stay home while this was going on. They don't need you, little typer, to solve their problem, not this time, a niggling little voice in his head told him. How could you handle a hostage situation, it questioned him. They'll work through this, he tried telling himself, and only believed himself a little bit.

Yes, there was plenty of evidence suggesting NTAC would bring the kid to bear. But they'd lost agents in the process. And without Garrity and Baldwin, work would be rather less colorful…not that an uneventful day was a bad thing. And if anything befell Nina, who would be in command of NTAC? Ryland? Not altogether horrific, given how well they'd gotten along in the past.

But what struck deepest, was the thought of Diana. If anything happened to her -- "The hell with safe," Marco had muttered, swiftly getting up and heading for the door, rather than finishing that thought, tossing on a jacket en route.

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That had been before…one of the more recent memories he could access from before…something had happened at NTAC, something that his mind was still trying to piece together the constituent seconds of.

"Marco?"

Diana's voice. He'd know it anywhere. Opened his eyes. "Yeah?" he asked, his voice more hoarse than he'd have thought it should be. How long was I out?

"I just wanted to say," she said, standing at the foot of his hospital bed, the fingers of her good hand strumming up and down the fingers of the arm in her cast. Opposite arm from Nina, he noted absentmindedly, back when TJ Kim attacked. "Thank you."

"'s nothing," Marco insisted.

"Yes it was. You…you risked your life…for me," and a look at her eyes told him that she was still working out what it meant. She knew he liked her. She knew he liked her a lot. He knew she knew he liked her a lot. Was the full depth of it only now sinking in, or was it something else? What else was there? "I don't know what…"

"I had a good friend to save." The both smiled. "Thanks for coming by."

She nodded, and backed out of the room, and, in a gesture that struck him as more the result of last-minute decisions and impulsive gestures (rather than well-thought-out considered actions), she blew him a kiss.

And left.

After sitting alone for a while, Marco opened the nearest of the get-well-soon cards. On the cover was a pair of kittens frolicking. Inside was

-Maia

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The End