Title: Everything Else Is Background Noise
Author: Michelle, , (http: user"celticfaerie2"

Email: 24
Pairing: Tony/Michelle
Rating: PG
SPOILERS: Do not read if you don't want to be spoilt for S4
Disclaimer: Not mine. Tony and Michelle belong to Fox and Real Time Productions.
Summary: Well, that's the thing, even a summary would be spoilery.
Author's Notes: Because my mother said "I'm trusting you to write that scene"

Feedback is like crack. Feed my obsession.

Word Count: Currently, 824

He sat on the porch swing studying the sky. He'd known it was going to rain when he walked outside, had felt the thickness in the air. He'd breathed it in deep, trying to own a piece of it. He estimated five, maybe ten minutes before the rain clouds burst and showered the earth.

He could hear Michelle rattling things around in the kitchen, as if she were trying to make sure he heard. Make sure he knew she was cooking. It made him think of that fateful day two years earlier, when he'd been offered a job at Langley, and there was no job for Michelle. She'd said she would go anywhere with him as long as he didn't ask her to cook. He'd said he'd take her anywhere if she promised not to cook.

She'd taken lessons while he was in prison, mostly to give herself something to do, some way to fill the loneliness in the hours after work. She'd taken a lot of lessons while he was gone, trying to submerse herself in something, anything, to keep her mind off him.

The air changed suddenly, the wind kicked up and breezed across his face. The dog next door growled and barked, Tony got to his feet. He walked to the edge of the porch and turned his face up to the sky as the first drops fell.

"You should come inside," she said through the kitchen window.

"I like it out here."

He heard her footsteps receding from the window, circling around to the screened door. "It's raining."

Tony shrugged and turned to face her, water rolling down his cheeks, dripping off the ends of his uncombed hair. "I like the rain."

"You'll catch a cold."

"I'm fine." He sighed and took a sip from the mug in his hand, held protectively out of the rain. "I've had enough of four walls surrounding me."

Her fingers traced the metal frame that ran down the middle of the door. "You're not in prison anymore, Tony."

He turned his face back to the rain, leaned forward a bit to get a full effect, water beating down on his face and chest. "Sometimes it feels like I am," he answered harshly. It wasn't that he meant to upset her, the words just fell out of his mouth and hung in the air between them.

She sighed, and it was a pitiful sound. He didn't have to look at her to know her bottom lip trembled. His own eyes closed and he felt a wave of regret wash over him, but it was too late.

"Whatever. Listen. I just wanted to tell you dinner is on the table. Come in when you're ready."

"He nodded, took another sip, draining his mug. "Yeah."

"Right." Footsteps retreated. She didn't go back to the kitchen.

The dog in the yard next door barked again. Tony considered throwing his mug at the beast, but thought better of it. He carried the mug inside, left it on the counter, and walked to the bedroom.

Michelle sat on the bed. "What do you want from me, Tony?"

"Want from you?" he questioned. "Honey, I don't want anything."

Michelle got to her feet, a posture of defiance. "I devoted a year and a half of my life to getting you out of prison. I've given you the last five months unconditionally, because I love you. But I can't do this anymore, Tony. You're miserable, I'm miserable. You lay around all day and drink and feel sorry for yourself. I'm done feeling sorry for you, Tony."

"I never asked you to feel sorry for me."

"No. But you make damn sure that's exactly how I feel."

"I went to prison for you." He stated quietly. "I lost everything because I loved you."

"Because you loved me? Does that mean you don't love me now?"

Tony closed his eyes. He hadn't meant to say that. Hadn't meant to go there. "Of course I love you now, sweetheart."

"Really? Because it seems to me you love your misery more." Her words carried with them a sting, a knife that punctured his heart right down to his soul. And the worst part was he deserved it, he knew he deserved her contempt.

He turned his back to her, ran his hand over his chin. What could he say? Was there anything he could say to make this right?

"I'm leaving, Tony."

"What? Michelle..." He turned back around. She had the closet door open. Suitcase in hand. She dropped it on the bed, opened the zipper. Casual, like she was only packing for a trip.

"I can't do this anymore. I've given it five months. I didn't expect to pick up where we left off, Tony, but I expected more than this. I expected to you to fight for your life again. But you don't fight for anything anymore. You're here, but you're not with me.

To be continued. Please use the review button, it's there for a reason. Feed the need. Thanks!