A/N: It's been a long couple of weeks! But I had a snow day today, and am able to update! Please review, and let me know how you feel about this story. Thanks

Chapter Seven

Maria was sitting cross legged on the bar counter. She had rescheduled her band meeting. She knew how important the first couple of days after finding the alien secret, was. And she wanted to make sure to be there when Rick showed up again. Michael didn't want her to do anything, but she wasn't going to listen to him. She couldn't do much when it came to the alien secret, but this was one thing that she could do to protect him. The door opened, slightly, and the bell chimed. Maria glanced up in hope, and it was Rick. He looked around uneasily, and stopped short when he saw Maria. She hopped off of the counter, and motioned around. "Don't worry, it's just us. Two humans, talking." Rick nodded, and gulped.

"No Michael?" He asked. Maria chuckled.

"No. He doesn't even know that I'm here right now." Rick made his way slowly into a chair, and placed his face in his hands.

"I've been thinking of all the possible reasons of the alien thing." Rick said. Maria sat across from him.

"And?" She said, her hands under her chin.

"I think you're crazy." He said bluntly.

"Wish I was." She said. She was holding back a chuckle, remembering an almost identical conversation, with Alex. She could feel a frown forming on her face, and tears starting to form. Rick put his hands up.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! I didn't mean for you to get all weepy! Whatever I said, I'm sorry."

"It's all right." She said, wiping at her eyes. "I was just thinking about a friend of mine. He died two years ago."

"Oh, I'm sorry. How did it happen?" Rick asked. Maria looked at him seriously.

"An alien killed him." She said, her voice morbid. Rick leaned backwards in his chair. His hands through his hair.

" This is real, isn't it?" Rick asked. Maria nodded.

"More serious than a heart attack." Maria said. "You're new to this. I get it. Believe me I do." She said, looking at Rick. "And I know that you're scared, and want to hand us in. But please, please don't. Michael hasn't done anything wrong. He's an alien, just trying to live. Please."

"I don't know." Rick said.

"You don't get it. If they get their hands on him, they'll torture him, then dissect him. They might even grab me to make him comply." Maria stared long and hard at Rick. She remembered sitting in his seat. Thinking that Max, Isabel and Michael were horrible creatures. And that there was no reason not to hand them in. But that was before. Before she became friends with them. Before Liz was in love with Max, before Isabel didn't try to scare her, and most of all, before she fell in love with Michael. Rick would have to make the choice himself, and one option would be the end of Michael, her friends, and perhaps herself.

"Wow. All because Michael lost his cool?" Rick said. He could hardly believe what he was hearing. He'd thought that it was all a big joke. The one new coworkers play on each other. But now, as he was looking at Maria, it was different. She was practically pleading with him. Like he held the future of her existence and Michael's existence in his hands. It was an overwhelming experience. He could barely think with her looking at him like that. But one thought stood out his mind.

"Rick?" Maria asked, her voice tense. Rick had just been sitting there, staring into space, his mouth slightly open.

"Who am I to hand him in?" Rick said. "I just met him. I don't know if he's bad, or good. Nice or mean. I don't know anything about his life. And because of that, I have no right to hand in someone I barely know, to something that could be their end."

"Really?" Maria said, not wanting to get her hopes up.

"Really. At least, for now." Rick said. Maria let out a squeal and attack/hugged him. While although taken off guard, he did hug her back.

"Thank you, thank you!" Maria said. "It's going to be so nice to have a friend here! Someone to talk about this with." Maria said, already at the door. She looked back at Rick. "I have a feeling that we will get along fine." She said, and grabbed the door handle. Rick sighed. This conversation hadn't gone the way he had expected. But he had to agree with her, it would be nice to be able to talk to someone about it. His family and friends would think he was crazy. And maybe he was. But it didn't matter. At least he'd have friends to be crazy along with, he smiled to himself.

Maria crept silently into Michael's room. Langley had tried to keep them in separate rooms, but that rarely worked. Only if both were too tired to protest, did they sleep in their designated rooms. Maria knew that Michael was asleep, if the lights being turned off wasn't enough of a sign, then his excessive snoring was. She pulled back the covers softly, so she wouldn't wake him. And crawled in next to him. He was incredibly tired from all the acting training, the job at the bar, and top of that, all the alien stuff. Langley had said that he was going to help Michael with his powers, but so far, none of that was happening. He was "too busy" with producing and finding new stars. And because of that, Michael has lost his cool in front of Rick, and exposed his secret. Michael had been beating himself up about it all week. Maria was starting to like Langley less and less as time went on. He was turning out to be the slim ball producer that she thought he was. The only good thing was the record deal. And sometimes she thought that it was just something to get Michael to agree to come. It sucked, having to work long hours, and hardly seeing Michael. But that was a part of the deal, she knew it, he knew it. And he never complained. Michael stirred, and his arm was thrown over her. She knew that he was probably awake, but she didn't care. She nuzzled closer into his body, breathing him in. Yeah, sometimes he pissed her off, but it was moments like this, that made her forget about that. "I love you Michael." She whispered into his chest. "I love you" There was no response from Michael, but she could have sworn that she felt his arm around her tighten.

A/N: I hope this was alright. Please review to let me know if there is any interest in this story! Thanks.