Title: Protect The One You Love
Author: Zia
Summary: Rath and Michael are twins, Maria is dating Rath, then something happens…
Rating: R-NC17
Disclaimer: Rath and Michael are chained to my bed.
Distribution: Ask and ye shall receive.
Author’s Note: This has been floating around in my head for months, and won’t leave me alone till I start writing so here ‘tis.


Maria sat in the bay window in her bedroom, a cup of barely warm coffee in her hand, staring blindly our the window at people outside, living their lives. She didn’t really feel like she was living anymore. She hadn’t for the last ten years. Ten years of hell. Granted it hadn’t all been bad, but things weren’t great. She missed him so much.

“Hey. You doing ok?” Maria lifted her head and saw Michael standing in the doorway with his own cup of coffee, wearing his pajama pants. He came in and asked her every morning. She knew he worried a lot about her, mainly for his brother’s sake. And her usual answer was ‘I’m fine.’ But today was different.

“Not really.” She whispered and he made his way across the room to sit across from her.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just… it’s just one of those days.”

“Miss him?”

“What do you think?” She asked rhetorically as she looked him in the eye.

“I know. I miss him too.”

“Liar.”

“He’s my brother Maria. I miss him.” She smiled faintly. They never really got along. “I think… that maybe you should try dating again.”

“No.”

“Maria… it’s been ten years. You haven’t been on a date in six. And I really wouldn’t call leaving the house with a guy then coming home five minutes later a date.”

“He wasn’t my type.”

“I know… but Maria how long are you going to do this to yourself? He’s never-“ Alex walked into the room, cutting off their conversation.

“Hey. What are you doin? You’re supposed to be sleeping in.” Alex said walking over and sitting beside Michael. “It’s your day off.” Michael just shrugged and slid his arm around Alex’s shoulder and pulled him against his chest.

“Couldn’t sleep.”

“Well go sleep. Out of my room both of you. Your sappy snuggles make me sick this early in the morning.” Maria smirked at them.

After kicking them out of her room she climbed into her bed and closed her eyes and let herself drift back off to sleep.


Ten Years Earlier


Maria curled up on Rath’s bed and closed her eyes. “I’ve gotta work.” She heard him whisper against her ear and slowly opened her eyes. Looking up she saw him sitting on the edge of the bed. “Stay here. I’ll see you when I get home.” He told her and she nodded before closing her eyes again.

Once she heard him leave she slowly climbed out of his bed and then on unstable legs she walked into the bathroom and quietly closed the door behind her. She stood under the hot spray of water and clenched her eyes shut, wishing the hot water would wash away the dark bruises covering her body. She hurt everywhere, and could barely move. The water started to turn cold and she sighed as she shut it off and grabbed the towel off the hook and climbed out of the shower. Carefully she wrapped it around herself, and held it against her chest. The ground swayed beneath her feet and she reached for something to grab to stable herself but found nothing and hit the ground before everything went black.

Michael groaned as he woke up. Rath was already gone to work so he would have a few hours to himself before he was meeting Alex and Kyle to go hang out with Tess and Isabel. Tiredly he walked the short distance to the bathroom to take a shower. He stopped, caught off guard by what he saw.

Maria was laying unconscious on the floor of the bathroom, a towel barely covered her body, along with dark bruises. Quickly he knelt down beside her and felt for a pulse and sighed in relief when he found it. “F-ck.” He hissed before carefully lifting her up in his arms and carrying her back into the bedroom. He paused for a second before tucking her into his bed. Had Rath done this? Had he hit her? He growled quietly at the thought. The bastard.

Michael watched her for an hour, thinking maybe he should take her to the hospital, he was worried, but he didn’t know how serious it was. He sat on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands, then suddenly Maria was screaming, her fists flying and hitting him in the back. He spun around quickly; her eyes were still clenched shut. Getting up quickly he grabbed her wrists trying to stop her, but she was strong for such a tiny girl.

He climbed part way onto the bed to try to hold her down to wake her up so maybe she’d stop hitting him. Perfect timing of course, because has he pinned Maria down to the bed; her hands over her head Rath opened the door. Before he knew what was happening he was on his back on the floor, with his twin brother on top of him, punching him hard in the face, repeatedly.

Equal strength. Michael shoved Rath onto his back and hit him back, over and over, both going on blind fury, thoughts of the other hurting Maria. They saw nothing but a target to hit, to destroy, until Maria screamed at them to stop. They jerked away from each other and Rath moved quickly to her side and pulled her close. “Baby are you ok?” He asked lifting her into his lap and pulling the sheet over her. Then he caught sight of the bruises. “You’re fuckin dead!” He hissed at Michael, with a deadly glare.

“Baby he didn’t…” Maria shook her head and buried my face in his shoulders and wrapped her arms around him. “It wasn’t him.” She whispered.

“Then who was it?” She shook her head in answer to Rath’s question. She didn’t want to talk about it.

Part 2

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Maria told Rath quietly and he narrowed his eyes.

“Maria-“

“Rath. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Michael get out.” Rath said glancing at his brother.

“What the hell? I don’t think so. I’m not going to leave just so you can thump on her again.”

“He didn’t do it Michael.”

“Don’t protect him.” Maria jumped up quickly and stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut before locking it. They didn’t believe her that it wasn’t the other. How could they hate each other so much. Slowly she got dressed and ran my hands through her hair.

Ten Years Later

Maria woke up slowly. It was late in the day, her room was hot. She kicked off the blankets with a sigh and climbed out of her bed. Maria stumbled down the hall to the kitchen. A piece of paper rested on the counter and she picked it up. We went out. Be home later. Love Your Boys Maria smiled faintly and tossed the note into the trash before getting a glass out of the cupboard and filled it with juice.

Of course, today of all days they had to go out. Maria sighed and made her way into the living room and sat down on the couch. Her eyes blindly stared at the TV. Her mind was on Rath, a lot more than usual. And it hurt to keep thinking about him. She missed him so much. She couldn’t believe what he’d done. It was still such a shock to believe it really happened.

Maria sat there for a long time, just thinking. She heard the door open but didn’t turn her head. It wouldn’t be anyone but Alex and Michael. “Hey, I wasn’t expecting you guys home so-“ Her breath caught in her throat as she turned to look at them. “soon…” She finished as she climbed off the couch. “Rath?” It came out a broken whisper.

She was dreaming, it was a hallucination. It couldn’t really be him. They put him in jail for life. “Rath?” She said again as he walked towards her. She shortened the distance between them quickly and threw her arms around his shoulders. “Oh my god is it really you?” Tears rolled down her cheeks unconsciously as she felt his strong arms wrap around her waist.

“It’s me.” Came a quiet gruff reply against her ear.

“You…oh god.” She pulled back enough to look at his face, unshaved, hair a little longer. Her fingers traced over his face, memorizing it, and trying to grasp that he was standing in front of her. His arms held her tight against the length of his body; his hands squeezed her sides gently.

“I’m back.”

“How?” Maria asked in awe.

“I don’t know… they said the charges were dropped. Pulled me out of the cell and gave me my belongings.” Rath leaned in and kissed her tenderly. “I came looking for you… Michael and Alex… I saw them. Since when is my brother gay? They told me where you lived. I had to see you.”

Maria’s hands stopped on his cheeks and just held them before leaning in and kissing him hard. “You came back.”

“I promised I would.” He slid his hands down to her ass and lifted her up; her legs instantly wound around his waist and held him tight.

“Yeah after like thirty years.”

“Did you wait for me?” Maria nodded slowly, her fingers combed through his hair. “Why?”

“Because I love you. Because of what you did for me.” He squeezed her ass and kissed her neck. “I missed you.” Maria whispered against his ear, pressing her lips against it. “My bedroom?” Rath nodded and she pointed the way.

They fell into bed, and slowly explored, and took their time getting to know each other’s bodies again. “So, since when is my brother gay?” Rath brought up again from his place between Maria’s thighs, his lips dusting kisses all over her belly.

A small smile crossed Maria’s lips. “Forever. He was just hiding far back in the closet. It kind of came out when I walked in on him and Alex in bed together like eight years ago.” Maria combed her fingers through Rath’s hair.

“Traumatizing.” Rath murmured against her stomach.

“It was. Your brother and his best friend going at it like rabid dogs… not what I was wanting to see.” Maria laughed quietly.

“Why did you wait for me?”

“I told you. I love you.”

“It’s been ten years Maria.”

“I’m only twenty six Rath. I wasn’t exactly planning on being settled down by now.”

“Were you ever planning on moving on?”

“Not really.”

“It would have been at least thirty years.” Maria shrugged.

“It would have been worth it. I had a few dates… but they weren’t my type.”

“You mean they weren’t psychotic bastards in jail for life.” Suddenly Rath’s face stung from an unexpected slap.

“You aren’t… Christ Rath! I love you. I can’t just stop loving you and meet a guy and get married and have kids… because I don’t want to do that with anyone that isn’t you.” Maria climbed off the bed and grabbed her robe and pulled it on.

“Maria stop.” Rath got up and pulled on his boxers and moved to sit behind her and pulled her against his chest. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just… I didn’t want you waiting around for me forever.”

“But it doesn’t matter Rath. You’re out; you’re a free man. What might have happened doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re a free man again, and have your whole life ahead of you.”

Ten Years Earlier

Maria laid curled up against Rath’s side in her bed, a sheet tucked around them both of them enjoying the aftermath of their love making. She still wouldn’t tell him what happened to cause the bruises and he accepted it, by staying with her every second of the day. He’d practically been living with her for the last week.

She thought it was sweet, to have someone care so much about her. But sooner or later things would get bad. She let her eyes slip shut and came to the realization that things were bad sooner rather than later when her bedroom door flew open. “Whore!”

Rath jerked awake hearing someone yelling and saw Maria’s father standing in the doorway looking Maria up and down like a piece of fresh meat. “Fuckin lil whore.” Her father spat out and Rath growled. Yanking his boxers on he crossed the room.

“Get out.” Rath growled and her father punched him hard in the jaw. Rath’s eyes shifted to Maria who sat cowering on her bed, the sheet held tight around her. Then it all clicked in Rath’s head. Her father was the one that caused the bruises.

Part Three

Rath stood there in shock, her own father was hitting her. He couldn’t believe it. Then he felt himself hit the floor. Hank was over him, hitting him hard over and over, and smirking at Maria’s screams. “It’s your own fault whore!” He spat at her before getting up from the floor and moved towards her.

Rath saw red at just the thought of someone hurting her. Hank was moving closer and closer to Maria and Rath leapt from the floor and tackled him to the ground.

Ten years Later

Maria laid in her bed with her head on Rath’s chest. They’d spent all night having sex and getting to know each other again. They talked and kissed and touched. “Are you going to stay?” She asked suddenly and quietly. She was the reason he went to jail, so she figured he wouldn’t want to stick around with her.

“Why do you think I’d leave?”

“Because of me you lost ten years of your life.”

“It was worth it. Being able to help you… to save you from that… you never deserved that.” Rath ran his hand through her hair. “I love you.”

Maria sat up and looked down at his face. “I love you too.”

Ten years Earlier

Rath stared down at Hanks prone, and bloody body on the floor. His eyes slowly lifted to meet Maria’s. “Is he…?” Rath nodded and Maria got off the bed and pulled on Rath’s shirt. She threw her arms around Rath’s shoulders and she started crying. Not for her father, but for the fact that Rath saved her.

The police came and went. Rath was arrested for murder, and statutory rape, Maria was only sixteen, he was eighteen. Even more reason why they didn’t believe what they said happened. The story the police came up with was that Hank walked in, saw them together and Rath killed him in some angry rage. So they came up with an elaborate story before they called 911.

Epilogue

Maria laughed from her spot on Rath’s lap as they watched Michael and Alex dancing together. A year had passed since Rath got out of jail so they’d decided to celebrate. They came to Las Vegas and were having a great time.

Maria and Rath were living together in a new apartment, after Rath had threatened to throw Michael and Alex out after one too many occasions of walking into a room and seeing them going at it. Horny bastards. Finally Rath went and got him and Maria their own apartment.

Rath too ka hold of Maria’s hand and she felt something cold slip over it. Quickly looking down she saw a gold ring with a small diamond on it. A quiet gasp escaped her lips and Rath kissed her quickly before pulling her onto the dance floor. Maria giggled quietly and hugged him tightly. Yeah things were good.