Title: Happiness Found
Author: Zia
Rating: PG
Summary: Years after Moira, Michael and Maria face their final problem.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but my own idea.
Author's Note: I've wanted to write a third story, finally got around to it :)


I just celebrated my 40th birthday yesterday; I am now an old woman. I glance in the mirror, my blonde hair, cut short, in a failed attempt to make myself look younger. I tried to dye it, but the gray shown through, like a signal to show everyone that I'm old.

Really, I can handle being old. That's not the problem. I look at my husband lying in bed snoring softly.

What I realized is that I don't love him anymore. After all our years together, our beautiful children, and the pain, I've discovered that he doesn't make me laugh, or make me want him to rush home from work, because I don't care as much. I still want him to come home, but if he's late, I don't mind.

Everything has become routine. Get up in the morning, send them off to school, and work, clean the house, then Makenna comes home, snacks and homework, off she goes again, I make dinner and it's on the table by the time Michael gets home.

He greets me with a kiss, not one full of passion like they used to be, but rather a light peck on the cheek.

The next morning I look at Michael over my coffee cup. Makenna is in a rush to catch her bus, Michael gets up to leave. "Wait." He stops and looks at me. "We need to talk." Slowly he sits back down.

"About what?" He asks, I can see the clueless look on his face.

"I've been thinking… I want a divorce Michael." Now it's confusion.

"What?! Why?" He doesn't understand.

"Because I'm not happy."

"Tell me what to do. I'll make you happy again Maria, I swear." I smile faintly at his vain attempts at fixing our problems.

"Make me love you again." It strikes a cord in him; I see the pain on his face. "I'm sorry. I just… I don't love you like I used to."

"A divorce will make you happy?" He asks and I honestly don't know.

"I don't know. But I know I need something. Other than this…"

"What about the kids?"

"Shared custody."

"You've thought about this a lot haven't you?" Michael asks me and I nod.

"I have." It's his turn to nod.

"Where did I go wrong?" He asks and I meet his eyes.

"You didn't. And neither did I… but maybe we just weren't meant to be forever. 21 years is a long time Michael. I never expected it. I love you. More than I think you know, but … it's just not the same anymore."

"I need to get to work… we can talk when I get home." Michael said to me and I nodded.

He left and I began my routine again. I cleaned, Makenna came home, got her a snack, helped her with her homework, not that she needed it, she was old enough now that she didn't need my help. Katie and Kade had moved out a year earlier, they came home often though, for dinner, or to do laundry.

Dinner was ready when Michael walked through the door, and I stood in the kitchen, leaning against the counter silently thinking, wondering. Michael walks into the kitchen; the same soft peck on my cheek, but this time he lays a stack of papers down in front of me.

I pick them up and look at them. Divorce papers. I quickly look at him. "Michael?" He already signed them. Tears blur my vision. I can't believe he's done this for me, without a fight. I hug him tightly. "Thank you." I whisper and he hugs me back. "I love you so much." I mumbled and I feel his arms tighten around me.

"I love you too Maria." Then he pulls back and hands me a pen. "That's why you need to do this." He kisses my forehead and I look at the papers. It seems so final. I'm writing our marriage off. The thing that saved my life. Michael saved my life.

I touch the tip of the pen to the paper and take a deep breath. "Thank you." I repeat before quickly signing my name. It's done. They just have to be taken to the courthouse, and we're no longer married.

A year later, and I'm happy. Michael and I are divorced. On a picnic together, with our children, and our significant others. We're still close friends. And we laugh now. I've noticed that Michael is happier too, he smiles more, he laughs, and I think he's in love too. A girl named Courtney, an alien, different than him, but alien nonetheless. And I met Brody. He's a little weird, at first anyways; he was abducted by aliens, and was surprised when I told him I believed him. I don't know if I'll marry him, but I do know that he makes me laugh. And when he kisses me, I can feel how much he cares about me.

The End.