So Schwartzibrow has decided to give you a run-of-the-mill PD fanfic for a change. But not C/J, even though that seems to be overwhelming the genre as of late. This first chapter sums up a large part of Michael and Mia's relationship, and then the actual plot starts with the next chapter. Hope you enjoy!
I guess I could understand why Michael hadn't exhaled in a full minute. I mean, he'd been holding his breath for practically two years already.
"I love you," he whispered, for about the fourth time that minute. But it never got old with him. I didn't feel like he was putting on an act, or saying what he thought I wanted to hear just so he could get in my pants.
In reply, I shrugged off my already unbuttoned uniform shirt and pushed him back against the bed. "Let's just…not talk," I panted, brushing his lips. It's embarrassing enough for Michael to touch my breasts—I don't exactly want to hear him COMMENT on them.
To his credit, Michael just nodded and kept on nuzzling my neck. I bent my knee slightly with the intention to graze Michael between the legs—just to see his reaction. Just to see if I could even elicit reaction from Boy Wonder.
But then Michael reared back his beautiful head, biting the lip that had been so delightfully tickling my skin just a moment earlier. "Should we really be doing this when your parents are out there?"
"Mom and step-dad," I corrected quickly. "And it's not like we don't have the door locked."
I'd petitioned for door-locking privilege on my sixteenth birthday. And I guess Mr. G was too tired of walking in on our inevitable make-out sessions to fight it.
Ugh. I just said Mr. G and make-out in the same sentence.
Michael looked far from comforted. Then again, I wouldn't exactly be relaxed if I were a nineteen-year-old guy lying in his boxers in a room plastered with Lisa Frank stickers (I can't get them off the wall…I swear!). "Mia…" he said in that voice he uses when I'm 'proving my youth' (Lilly's words, not mine.) "I just don't want them to…hear anything."
"So—so you don't want to?" I stammered, my cheeks taking on their now-usual pinkish hue.
"'Course I do!" said Michael quickly. His eyes flickered over me. When he saw me watching him watch me, he smiled self-consciously. It might seem a bit belated for my boyfriend of two years to be checking me out, but I don't appreciate it any less. "Get on your shirt…we'll…we'll find somewhere. My dorm room? I mean—that is—only if you really want to."
I pretended to contemplate it as I buttoned up my shirt.
"Well?" he asked earnestly, zipping up his jeans.
"I might be up for it," I said coyly. But that was all Michael needed before he took my hand and pulled me out the door, muttering something about getting icecream to my mom.
The mere fact that he's calling it 'icecream' shows me that he's not ready.
I can't tell you how surreal it was to be laying in Michael's bed, in his dorm room, as he held my hand and pretended not to watch me pretending to sleep. "You okay?" he whispered. "I didn't…did I?"
"Didn't what?" I whispered back, even though I was fairly sure no one could hear us. Plus, Michael had put a rubber band on the door. How much more 'college' can you get?
Cracking open an eye, I was both surprised and touched to see how worried he looked. I mean, he sure seemed to be enjoying himself at the time. "If you're happy, I'm happy," I assured him. "I should probably be getting dressed."
"That'd be a waste of time."
"Oh, yeah?" I looked back to see Michael grinning widely.
"Yeah," he murmured, pushing me back down gently. "Stay here tonight…please?"
You'd think Michael would've gotten tired of my silly teenage girl antics and whatnot…but he's still just as sweet as he's been from the beginning. He's still totally crazy about me.
I know. I'm surprised too.
As much as I wanted to spend the night with my lovely, perfect, adorable boyfriend, there were several rather important obstacles.
"It's a school night."
"You and Lilly have had slumber parties during the week before. What's so different?"
"Well," I said slowly, moving closer to him. Michael feigning innocence is one of my bigger turn-ons. "Lilly isn't 'secretly' staring at my bod under the covers."
"Let's hope not."
I kissed him for a few seconds, oddly comfortable with being totally sans clothes. "Your roommate?"
"He can sleep on the steps of the library. Believe me, he'd love it."
Giggling, I sat up anyway. "I'm leaving," I said firmly.
"Can I see you again this week?" His tone told me exactly what sort of 'seeing' he wanted to do.
"I'm leaving for Genovia on Thursday," I reminded him.
He bit his lip, staring morosely at his bare knees. "I know."
Michael continued his sad puppy act as I pulled on my school uniform, and it slowly dawned on me that I wasn't Mia Thermopolis: Eternal Virgin any more.
Sleeping with my boyfriend…my one true love…my SHINING STAR…doesn't make me a tramp, does it?
"I'll miss you," mumbled Michael.
If I was just some old hooker, he totally wouldn't be so steeped in sorrow right now.
"I won't be gone that long," I said quickly, trying to cheer both of us up. Because seriously, the idea of practically a month without Michael—spent in the company of Grandmere and others of that stuffy, anal type—was not my idea of a rollickin' good time.
"I understand," said Michael. "You've got responsibilities. I can dig it. But can you give your peasant boy a kiss in case you're gone before he gets a chance to bid you farewell?"
"It would be within my power to grant you this one…small thing."
He only too willingly accepted my generosity.
"Bye, Princess," he said as I walked back the door, pulling the covers back up over him. I pretended not to hear the slight tinge of bitterness in his tone.
I got on the plane a few days later, feeling a lot better about leaving than I usually did. Not because there was anything wrong in New York—far from it. It was something Michael had told me after that first time.
He had been smiling beatifically, giving me a teeny bite of guilt. "Why'd you wait so long?" I asked him. "I mean, you could've had other girls."
"I didn't want other girls."
"What if we had broken up before I was ready?"
He touched my cheek with three of his fingers, that smile still decorating his manly, yet beautiful features. "Don't be stupid. We've got forever."
I snuggled closer to him, knowing he was telling the truth.
Five Years Later
Michael walked into the bathroom, still maintaining his confident swagger. I hated him for that. Especially as I was falling apart little by little.
I pointed him over to the sink, where the guilty item lay, glaring at me as I fidgeted on the edge of the bathtub.
Fingering it gingerly, Michael came and sat beside me. "And this means…?"
"Positive," I breathed, shaking even more as I said it aloud. "It's positive. That means I'm…well, I guess I'm pregnant."
His face practically split in two with that wide grin I usually adore. "Really?" He let out a low whistle. "A baby…"
"A baby," I echoed, without quite the same cheer.
"We can do it, I think," he said thoughtfully. "I mean, it'll take a lot of work, sure. But we'll be just fine. Do you think we have to get married just yet? I mean, you'll start showing soon…I don't know how your grandmother would like that. Probably less than us 'living in sin' or whatever she's calling it now. But, jeeeeez, a baby? I'm…does that make me a dad?"
I nodded dumbly.
"Christ almighty, that's insane. We're gonna be parents! Do we need a crib? I think my parents have my old crib. Wouldn't that be weird? Our baby where I used to sleep. What would we name it? Do you know what it is? Does it feel different for different sexes?"
The rapid-fire questions came to a halt when he spotted the look on my face.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm fine!" I insisted, trying to plaster on that bright, cheery smile I use whenever Grandmere accuses me of slurping my tea. "I'm really psyched."
"You're not," said Michael, with that annoying knowing and concerned look he uses way too often. "You're pissed. Why are you pissed?"
"I'm not pissed," I said through gritted teeth. "You don't know how I'm feeling! You're not God, Michael."
Ironically enough, his name does mean "he who is like the Lord." Hopefully, he doesn't remember this—though I've sure mentioned it to him enough.
"I know," he said calmly. "I know. I just don't know what you'd have to be so upset about. Don't lie to me, Mia," he said when I started to protest. "I may not be God, but I'm not a moron either. I can read you."
"You wouldn't understand. I mean, it's all dandy for you to be pumped. But, Michael, I've got Genovia…and…and I just don't have time for a baby."
"You're not getting an abortion," said Michael abruptly.
Not that I was even considering it. But the comment still ticked me off. "You don't control me. I can do what I want. It is my body, after all."
"It's my baby," he shot back. "Our baby. Mia, when haven't I supported you? It's not like I couldn't help you through this. I'd be there every step of the way. Don't you want this?"
But I couldn't even get out a response. He made me sound so horrible! Cold! Unfeeling! Is that how he really thought of me?
Michael didn't say anything else. He just patted me genially on the arm and looked bewildered.
"We'll talk later," he said at last. "For now, let's go and try enjoy the rest of your birthday. I can send them all home in a few minutes."
"No," I said quickly, surprising both of us. "I mean, I don't want to ruin a perfectly good party. You said we'd talk later. That's what we'll do."
More than anything, I just didn't want to think about what the coming months had in store for me.
A Year and a Half Later
I sat on our bed, staring at the doorway and willing the tears in the corners of my eyes to disappear.
Of all the people…of all the scummy things…I never…
Obviously, there's been some mistake. That's possible, right? Who would just throw almost nine years of complete and utter devotion out the window?
And then he strolled into the room, acting as though nothing could possibly be wrong.
"You wouldn't think Olivia would be that skilled at deceiving me into not putting her to bed. Did you see her new tooth? It's right in the front too. That's why I have to conform to every whim, you know. She's got weapons now."
He looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to say something, I guess. But I just held up the earring.
"Is that new?" asked Michael, kicking off his shoes. "Where's the other one?"
"Uh, maybe on your whore?" I said shakily, not so able to look him in the eye any more. "This isn't mine, Michael."
He gulped. And that's when I practically broke down. I wasn't inventing this. Not in the least.
"Mia, you've gotta understand. It's not like I meant to. I swear to God, Mia. I wasn't trying…Mia, I love you. I missed you. That's all it was."
I curled up in the fetal position, putting my hands over my ears and trying not to think about how great my name sounded when he said it. Because the whore's name probably sounded just as good. Michael's irritatingly perfect like that.
"Mia…" he said in a husky voice. I could see him walking towards me out of the corner of my eye. "Baby, don't—"
"What was her name?" I said abruptly.
He stopped in his tracks, clearly startled. About 1/123 of what I was feeling right then.
"What. Was. Her. Name?" I repeated slowly, spitting out each word.
Michael sat down heavily beside me on the bed, and I scooted as far away as possible.
"Heather" was his quiet response.
"Heather," I repeated, half-choking on it. "And how do you know Heather?"
The fake sing-song tone I had taken on irritated me to the bone. I can only imagine what it was doing to Michael.
But he didn't look annoyed. Just devastated. What does he have to be sorry about? He's the one laying girls left and right while I'm trying to help RUN A COUNTRY.
He chewed on his lip viciously, looking at his knees. Good. I don't think I could stand it if he turned on the puppy-dog eyes.
"She's…she's an intern at the software company. Like me. And it was just this one night." He swallowed. "When you called and said you couldn't be there for Christmas…or New Year's…or my birthday."
Way to guilt-trip me, asshat. But I clenched my jaw. I could see Michael looking my way, but I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of eye contact. "We've celebrated your birthday before. And you're the one always complaining about how holidays are too commercial."
"Jeez, Mia," he said, his voice breaking. "That doesn't mean I'm perfectly okay with you leaving for months at a time. I had to practically drag you here for Olivia's birthday. It shouldn't be that hard to come home. We need you here, all right?"
"Genovia needs me."
Michael wasn't even playing the 'adorably wounded' card any more. He just hopped up and stomped out of the room, practically panting in frustration.
I followed him out to the kitchen, feeling as though I was practically made of stone. Except for my eyes. Those were blinking rapidly and trying not to tear up.
On the floor of the kitchen, Michael sat, looking much the same as I probably did.
"What do you want me to do?" I said shakily. "Do you want me to choose?"
"It depends on what you'd choose," he said carefully.
I grabbed onto the table to steady myself. "I think…I think you know what I'd have to say."
And then Michael buried his face in his arms. I tried to pretend that I couldn't hear him sobbing quietly, but there was no way to ignore it. I was crying by then too.
"Then I don't want you to choose," he said hoarsely.
I threw up my arms in frustration. "We can't keep doing this. So…so I'll take the baby to Genov—"
"No," said Michael, his voice rising as he stood up, grabbing at a chair for support.
I blinked rapidly. "Michael, she's the heir. I can't just leave her. You knew when you got into this…."
"I didn't sign a freaking contract to fall in love with you!" he shouted. "I don't fucking care about your stupid rules and your stupid Parliament. I'm in love with Mia Thermopolis. And princess or no princess, you can't even bring yourself to call her Olivia, for Christ's sake."
"What am I supposed to tell them then? Sorry, I had to leave the future of the country with my ex-boyfriend in New York."
His eyes filled and he swore, stalking over to the other side of the apartment.
I watched him, feeling strangely numb. I didn't even see the same guy who would hold me so close that it hurt—but in a good way—the guy who made me pancakes every Saturday morning, the guy who said we had forever…
Review! I know the site is supposed to go into read-only mode on Sunday, but if you could keep in mind to review anyway, that would be great. Schwartzibrow dearly enjoys reviews, and misses them greatly.