Summary: Sequel to "Saving Michael". After finding out what Michael really is, Ava begins to question her friendship with him... what was human, anyways?
Sequel to "Saving Michael"; but not a series.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Here you are! The (long awaited, I hope) sequel to "Saving Michael"! :D It took me like, five or six tries; i hope that you enjoy it!
definitions for "human" and "humane" (written as one) came from the "Webster's Dictionary
After visiting Michael and getting a good night's sleep, Ava began to question herself.
For one thing, he feelings for Michael, which in a moment of pain and exhaustion and panic had made her dizzy, seemed to have faded from love to mere interest now that she was more rational. Gosh, she'd just met the man! How could she have possibly experienced love at first sight? And he was an alien; a wraith! She hated Ronon for telling her what he had; darn that man! And that had just made her feelings all the more difficult to unravel.
And then she had lied to Michael. She'd told him that everything was fine; it wasn't fine! he was a life-sucking alien, and while she hadn't knon it when she'd met him she did know it now, and she hadn't told him. And even though she wasn't sure what she felt about him now, she had been sure when she told him that she didn't love him; at the time, another lie. Maybe if he were a normal guy it would be easier to figure out... but he was a wraith! How could she even be friends with--- let alone have feelings for--- someone who had once been, essentially, a cannibal? Michael had killed humans not just for food, but probably enjoyment. How could she have feelings for someone who wasn't human?
She avoided Michael for the next several days, fear keeping her at a distance even when it began to hurt not to speak to him; her only friend on the city so far. But as lonely as she was, she couldn't face him yet; she couldn't tell him the truth, that he wasn't human.
'Define human,' a voice in her mind snapped suddenly, breaking through with surprising clarity in contrast to the crazy, unclear thoughts in the rest of her mind. It got to her. And it gnawed at her until at last she decided to find out exactly what that meant. She found a dictionary and looked up the word "human", in the most basic definition.
hu'man (hew-men) a. belonging to, or having the qualities of, a person or mankind... having moral qualities based on compassion and kindness.
Ava thought about that for a long time, comparing Michael to that definition. No matter what he had been, at the moment, he had all the physical qualities of any other person; in flesh, he was human. And as for moral qualities... he was the kindest, sweetest she'd ever met. So there, too, he was human. And no matter how little he remembered, his personality now had to have some similarities to his wraith self, whatever that had been. Which meant that no matter if he was technically wraith or technically human, he was still good.
Feeling freed with this realization, she resolved to go and see him tomorrow, and treat him like she would anyone else. And as to her feelings for him... well, she'd take that as it came.
Ava passed Teyla leaving the infirmary when she went to see Michael, and the two women paused for a second, and exchanged glances. Neither spoke, but after a moment Teyla gave a tiny nod, like she was giving Ava permission to enter. They continued on without a word, and Ava took a moment to steel herself before going in. She also took the time to still the vague sense of unease that had accompanied her silent exchange with Teyla. The fact that Teyla had though that she needed to give her permission... and the fact that she secretly felt more comfortable having received it.
She pushed her doubts firmly out of her mind, and went in.
Michael looked up when she entered, and a grin immediately spread across his face.
"Ava," he sounded pleased to see her. "I didn't think that you were going to come and visit me anymore." Ava smiled apologetically.
"I had some stuff to work through," she admitted. "But I would never just not come." and that wasn't a lie. She sat in a chair by his bed and let him take the conversation where he wished.
"...they never found out what that explosion was," he was saying. She blinked in surprise.
"Yeah, they said that Dr. McKay was working on it, but..."
"I don't think that Rodney's ego is a very useful research tool," Ava said, making Michael grin.
"Exactly," he paused, and seemed to check her over quickly.
"How are you doing?" he asked. "You were hurt to." Ava shrugged,
"It was only a flesh wound," she said, before realizing that he wouldn't get her joke. "Seriously, it was just a few cuts and bruises; nothing compares to what you've been through." she paused, considering.
"How are you feeling?" she asked, noticing that he seemed almost completely back to normal. But that was because wraith could heal so quickly... 'He's human,' Ava reminded herself firmly.
"I feel fine," he told her. "But Carson wants to keep me here for a few more days; for observation."
"Well as soon as you're out, we are having that Indiana Jones movie night that I promised you. And maybe I'll show you some of
"Alright, I'll see how soon I can get Doc to let me out of this place" Ava smiled, and only the tiniest bit of fear lingered in the corner of her mind. She squashed it quickly, reminding herself of what she had found; by all definition, Michael was human.
That thought kept her smiling.
"He hit you?" Ava demanded, making Michael instantly regret telling her what had happened.
"Ava, it's fine," he tried to calm her down; but it didn't work. It had been sometime after the movie night, she wasn't sure when; but as she'd become better friends with Michael she had thrown the last of her fears to the wind. As far as she was concerned, he could have been anything, and it didn't change the facet of what he was now; a wonderful, gentle man who she was finding herself falling in love with for real. And no one on this base had the right to hurt him.
"How can you say that? Ronon attacked you for no reason; he hurt you! How can you let that go?"
"It's not completely his fault," he took hold of her arms firmly and made her look at him. "I didn't do anything wrong; but what he saw was something that could have been really bad. For all he knew, I really was hurting her."
"But Teyla called him of you?" he laughed a little.
"What is he, a dog? But yes, she "called him off me"."
"And you're sure that you're okay?" he wrapped her in a hug, and rested his chin delicately on top of her head.
"I'm fine," he promised, his voice a mere whisper, soothing her.
"Good," she mumbled, closing her eyes, and allowing herself to lean on him as much as she dared. "Because I don't think that I can beat up Ronon very well." he smiled a bit.
"I'm sure that Teyla took care of that," he said fondly, igniting the tiniest spark of jealousy within Ava. But she shut it down just as quickly. Teyla was quite possibly the only thing keeping Ronon in check; and she was fighting for Michael. Ava supposed he needed the Athosian's friendship as much as he needed hers.
Ava returned from a mission one day, several weeks later, expecting to report to Weir and Sheppard as usual and then to find Michael. She was surprised to find that most of the senior staff was in an important meeting, and finally she was able to beg details of what happened off of a Marine called Srgt. Cole. An icy sheet of dread washed over her when he explained the problem; Michael had found out what he was.
Suddenly feeling sick, Ava had escaped to her room, her stomach mercifully waiting until she had reached the bathroom to empty itself. But she felt no better after throwing up She was upset about everything; her guilt for lying had returned in full force, along with anger about everyone making her lie, and for letting Michael find out. And she was angry with herself that she had not been there for him. She couldn't even imagine the hurt and betrayal that he was feeling right now; and it probably hurt the most to think about her and Teyla, because they'd grown so close to him. He must have been devastated to realize their lies; and she hadn't even been there to apologize and help him to deal with this. And now she was afraid all over again to go and see him.
'No,' her mind commanded firmly. 'You already tried avoiding him; you'll only hurt him more.'
"But he's going to hate me!" she spoke out loud, as if there was actually someone else in the room; and she wondered briefly if she
was going crazy.
'I though you decided that he was human,' the voice in her mind snapped. 'What about that, huh? Tell him that, he needs you right now.' Ava took a deep breath, realizing that her conscience--- or whatever it was--- was right. By definition, Michael was still human. And she needed to see him.
Every step she took, she almost turned back. But she regretted avoiding him in the beginning, after the explosion; and if there was a chance that she could make this situation any better...
Finally, she reached his room, and the guards at his door let her in without question. Ava cringed; they were guarding him like a prisoner, now.
The lights were dim, and Michael was sitting on the edge of his bed, his face turned away fro her, as if she didn't exist. Ava's heart broke when she saw him; the joy in the man that she had been coming to love was gone.
"You too?" he asked, surprising her a little. Belatedly she remembered that she wasn't the first one toe talk to him about this. She sighed.
"All this time I wondered why everyone seemed afraid of me; why they were always hiding from me. Now I realize that they weren't afraid of Michael Kenmore; because Michael Kenmore doesn't exist."
"That's not true! I know you, Michael."
"You pretended to have feelings for me, you pretended I was human..."
"You are human, Michael! And I didn't lie about caring for you." she added softly.
"I am a wraith," he argued, seeming to miss the second half of her statement. "Why did you lie to me?"
"They wouldn't let me tell you what you were," she pleaded desperately. "But I didn't lie to you; you are human."
"Prove it," he challenged. "Define human."
"Being kind and compassionate," she gave the essence of the definition that she had found. Michael snorted.
"We already covered compassion," he said bitterly, and Ava wondered what exactly had been said while she'd been off-world.
"Apparently, we wraith know nothing of it at all."
"But you do," Ava insisted. "You are a wonderful, kind, sweet, gentle man; you're not evil."
"I'm a wraith," Michael informed her. "I never said I was evil. But no matter how human you made my body, I am still a wraith. And that should not be treated like a sickness."
'Do you think that being a wraith is a disease, something you can cure?' Michael demanded of Beckett and Weir and Sheppard.
"I can't be human," he told Ava, finally looking at her. Her eyes were filled with tears.
"Why can't you try?" she begged. Michael sighed, and forced his anger away. He motioned her to come closer, and she obeyed immediately, completely trusting him still. When she was close enough he pulled her onto his lap and cradled her in his arms.
"I'm sorry," he whispered to her, as she took a deep breath and forced back her tears.
After Ava left Michael, she sought out Ronon. She knew that it wasn't just his fault that this had happened; but he was the one who had pulled her into the conspiracy, and she needed someone to blame.
She found him in the hall, and blocked his path, anger burning in her eyes.
"Why did you do this?" she demanded irrationally. "How could you let any of this happen?" Ronon raised an eyebrow.
"You know what! Why would you try to hurt him so bad without telling him, and then let him find out? Why did you let any of this happen?"
"None of this was my decision," Ronon defended himself. "They knew my opinion, but they did what they wanted."
"Why did you have to tell me?!" she demanded. "You made me lie to him, my best friend; and now you let him find out! It's all your fault!" Still irrational, she suddenly lunged at him, as if she was going to try to kill him with her bare hands. He caught her wrists and held her back until she realized what she was doing and stopped, collapsing limply into his arms and crying all the tears that she had held in while she was with Michael.
Ronon was a little uncomfortable, but he let her cry, guessing that she needed the release that tears would never bring him.
"Why did you make me lie?" she sobbed, gripping the rough material of his shirt in her hands. "I loved him!" he flinched when she said that, but she didn't notice. Unable to reply to that, unable to ever sympathize, he just let her cry into him until she had no tears left, all the while hating Michael's guts for making this poor girl--- and his best friend--- think that he was not a monster.
The next day Michael tried to escape, and in his desperate attempt to get away he had shot and killed Srgt. Cole. Ava was devastated by the news; she had liked the kind Sergeant. And his actions showed that Michael was regressing. She was suddenly very afraid for him, and went to see him as soon as possible.
They had moved him to a holding cell, and he was sitting in the corner, his arms resting on his knees.
"Michael?" she whispered.
"Ava, you shouldn't be here; I'm dangerous, remember?"
"I know that you shot Srgt. Cole. But I still don't believe that you're evil, Michael."
"Neither do I; but I definitely don't belong here." he paused. "They're going to take me off-world, so that I don't call the other wraith down on them here."
"You wouldn't do that." He shrugged.
"They don't trust me wither way; so I have to go unless I want them to kill me." he sighed. "This will probably be the last time that I ever see you." Ava nodded, knowing that he was probably right. But she was past the point where she could react any more than to nod.
"Goodbye, Michael" she said softly. "And I really do love you." he nodded, the tiniest bit of the man that she had rescued and loved showing himself as he smiled a bit.
"I know," he said, bringing her back to one of their movie nights; Star Wars. "Goodbye, Ava Stratford."
Ava left the cell and didn't look back, and the next thing that she heard of Michael was that he had escaped and tried to kill Teyla. And she wondered how her definition of human could apply now.
Chapter End Notes:
So there you have it. I hope that it answered at least some of the questions that I left opened in "Saving Michael".