FanFic - Unconventional Couples
"De Veritas"
Part 3
by Stephanie A
Disclaimer: The characters and universe herein don't belong to me. No infringement intended.
Summary: Michael/Liz- What happens in conditions that you really can't change?
Category: Unconventional Couples
Rating: R
Girls had shiny hair that Michael couldn't figure out.

Liz's had been long and loose while running through the streets, getting snagged on the bushes, falling in her face and being brushed away about ten times, and it still looked glossy. Dark and wispy, it fell all around her.

He was fighting the trickiest sudden urge to comb his fingers through it.

She had been out for about an hour, he figured; maybe two. It was almost one, and the movie had ended. He got up to stretch, since he had half-dozed himself while the insects took over the Capital, and saw her, sagged against the armrest, cupping her cheek in one hand while she slept soundlessly. It threw him aback, even though he should have figured it out- she hadn't nagged him in ages.

Michael got up to look, closer, like she was a curiosity out of a museum that had suddenly landed through the roof. As his shadow fell over her, she didn't stir, and her face was turned up at him.

It was obvious that she wasn't comfortable, just too exhausted to go on anymore, when she fell asleep. Her lower body was half off the coach in what had been a sitting position, and her golden-toned knees bent over the edge.

Up, up where her faded blue robe parted at the waist sash, her panties peaked out at him from the juncture of her slim legs, and he grunted, looking away even as he flushed, embarrassed, and just stopped himself from shielding his eyes with his hand, afraid she was going to sit up and slap him any second.

She didn't. He chastised himself.

*Stupid girls* he grumbled. *What kind of idiot hangs around in their underwear?* In the decidedly uninterested field of inquiry, he hesitantly turned back.

They were blue- baby blue, he discovered. With tiny white stars embroidered on them. Also stupid. Impractical, and hell, skimpy as the day was long. Liz was, after all, brainy and hyper-logical. Contrasts annoyed him.

But they were strangely endearing.

And he'd be willing to bet Max Evans had never seen this side of his precious Liz.

That unconscious little thought snapped him back to reality with the dual shock of what he was doing. Checking out Liz's underwear. Max's Liz's underwear.

"Next time, let *him* save her life" he muttered, even though no one but himself was able to hear.

Against his better judgment, he went into the tiny closet opposite his room, and pulled out a spare blanket. Standing over her again, he thought about actually moving her completely onto the couch, but decided that it was too risky. He bit his tongue, and covered her with the blanket. He didn't look a minute longer, but was about to go and brush his teeth or something when he heard her stir.

"Are you going to bed?" she asked. Her voice was groggy with sleep, but by the time she had uttered that, she had totally woken herself up, and was staring at him with big eyes.

"Was going to" he said. "You looked like you were out for the count."

She nodded, and pulled her legs up onto the couch, drawing her covered knees to her chin.

"It must be late" she said.

"Past midnight."

Liz didn't look surprised, just unsettled, even as she yawned.

" you have an extra pillow?" she asked, tentatively. "I mean, I don't need it, but if you did..."

"Oh, yeah" he waved his hand. "I should probably let you take the bed."

Instantly she was Liz the Perpetually Red, and she shook her head.

"No... I wouldn't" she said.

He looked as awkward as she did.

"I'm not being polite" he said. "So don't get your hopes up. I just figured that you might not want to be by the front door, being all nervous and everything."

"That's sort of nice" she ventured.

"Yeah, well that and if Hank stumbled in trashed around three, it might prevent a big scene" he muttered uncomfortably.

She didn't reply.

"It's the door across from the bathroom" he told her.

Liz bit her lip.

"What will you do?"

He shrugged.

"Nothing. Watch TV."

"You don't sleep?"

"Not here. Not usually."

"Oh" she nodded knowingly. "That's why you go over to Max's, sometimes."

He bristled, almost unnoticeably.

"He told you that?"

She realized she had hit a raw nerve, and cringed.

"There's nothing wrong with that" she hastened to clarify. "I just figured.."

He smiled faintly.

"I don't care. Really."

"Oh, OK."

He shuffled, and hitched his thumb.

"I was just going to..."

"I'll get going, then" she finished.

He turned his back, and she was going in his general direction, there not being much movable space in the trailer, and finally, she blurted:
"Hey, Michael? Thanks for everything."

"Yeah" he answered, not turning around. "No problem."

On a sudden impulse, she stood on her tiptoes, and kissed his cheek.

Michael froze.

"Don't do that" he said.

She didn't know what she could say, so she slipped away, and he didn't move.

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