"I'm going to marry Michael," she had said.

She hadn't believed it at the time.

-

When they were fifteen - no. When he was fifteen - she had walked in on him. He was flushed and sweaty and so not attractive, but Lindsay thought it was the hottest thing she'd ever seen. It probably still is.

She hadn't coughed not-so-discretely to let him know she was there like she had when they were - when he was - twelve. She hadn't thought it was disgusting, or run downstairs to tell Gob (and he hadn't shared her amusement, like she thought he would, but instead looked strangely proud), or giggled with her girlfriends about it afterwards (and no wonder she had developed so much faster than them). She stayed until he was finished, and in her own bed, she tried to remember the way he had looked as she did something she had only ever read about.

The first time she came, she cried out Michael's name, and imagined that he had cried out hers.

-

When they were eighteen (and it's easier to think of them as twins still, even if Lindsay knows she shouldn't), he went away to college, and she stopped thinking about him. Even if he had said that he'd never leave her. Because men lied; Lindsay knew that well enough by then that she shouldn't have been disappointed. And she wasn't, honestly.

That was the summer that she started trying to emulate her mother.

-

Her wedding wasn't a reaction to his. It just wasn't, okay?

-

Even if her stripper kind of looked like Michael. And she made him wear a polo shirt and khakis as she fucked him six hours before she walked down the aisle.

-

She had just given up looking for Mr Right. Even if she had never looked very far to begin with.

-

Tobias looked nothing like Michael. And Tracy looked absolutely nothing like Lindsay.

-

For exactly fifty-three days and seven minutes, Lindsay convinced herself that she was happy.

-

She wanted to hold his hand at the funeral. She wonders if he even knew she was there.

-

What happens in Cabo, stays in Cabo.

Lindsay told herself that she was doing this for Maeby as she dragged her daughter out to the car. Maeby looked strangely despondent without her cousin around, and besides, there was still that whole marriage issue to work out (and how come Maeby was allowed to marry into the family when she wasn't?). That's what she told Michael, too.

-

There were only so many beds on the C-Word.

-

She should never have tried to get him drunk again. Recreating a perfect moment in time is never possible, she should have known that by now, but a part of her was still the eighteen year old (twenty-one year old, actually, and if she'd known that, god she would have had a lot more fun in high school) Michael had left behind, the one who believed that anything was possible if she just closed her eyes and wished.

She puked all over Michael's shoes that night.

But he held her hair back from her face when she made it to the bathroom the second time (trying to remember what the hell you were supposed to call the bathroom on a boat, because anything was better than thinking about the way his fingers curled around the back of her neck), and changed her clothes and pretended not to care when she was standing (swaying, really) in front of him in just her underwear, and he was still holding her when she woke up in the morning. And Lindsay really wished that she hadn't had to puke again, because he hadn't held her like that ... well, ever.

He made her breakfast in the morning, and she still took her eggs the way she did when she was - when they were - eighteen.

-

"God, I just want to get off this stupid boat."

It was Maeby's idea, and Lindsay could have kissed her daughter for it. They left George Sr. on the boat while they went off to shore, and Michael bought her a stupid hat that Lindsay had worn all day because she liked the way he looked at her when she was wearing it.

They ended up at a bar, and Lindsay rethought her vow never to drink again.

She drank more carefully this time, matching Michael drink for drink, and they both secretly thought it was adorable that George Michael and Maeby stuck to virgin margaritas all night, and Maeby started to sway violently after her fourth.

George Michael offered to take Maeby home, and Lindsay agreed while Michael was in the bathroom. She told him that George Sr. had come to collect the kids, and he looked like he wanted to believe her.

It was fucked up, even Lindsay knew that, to bond with the man you thought you might love over shared childhood memories. She steered the conversation away from anything directly involving the two of them, and when Michael walked her home, he put his arms around her waist when she pretended to stumble (or maybe half-pretended, she wasn't quite sure at this juncture), and he didn't offer to sleep on the couch.

-

Michael was the one who had to puke the next morning, but he crawled back in bed with her, and Lindsay knew he'd brushed his teeth, even if she wasn't allowed to taste him.

-

When they recreated their perfect moment, it happened entirely by accident.

She didn't know where George Sr. had gone, but George Michael and Maeby had gone for a walk, and Lindsay had smiled at the way they held hands as they stepped off the boat, even if Michael hadn't.

It was vodka again. Of course.

"I can't believe our mother."

"Your mother," Lindsay corrected him.

"I'm never going back to that family."

"Good thing I'm not part of the family, then," Lindsay had said, and she knew that she was laying it on thick, but Michael hadn't seemed to mind.

He touched her knee again.

"God, Lindsay, I wish ... I wish they'd never adopted you," he slurred, and Lindsay knew exactly how he meant it.

"I don't know," she said. "I could get used to being a Bluth."

It was easy to blame the lurching of the boat when he landed on top of her.

It wasn't so easy when he kissed her, but Lindsay wasn't looking to appoint blame.

Their first kiss was sloppy, but underneath the vodka Michael still tasted clean and minty and so not her brother, and if she slipped and his hand found her breast, they were both well past the point of questioning it.

They were still like that, Michael's knee wedged between her thighs, when George Michael and Maeby walked in.

Maeby coughed discretely, and that was a talent she certainly hadn't inherited from her mother.

Michael got up, too quickly, and the kids went to their room without saying a word, and Michael went to sleep on the couch.

Lindsay went out to him later.

"I can't sleep," she'd whispered as she crawled in beside him, and he'd pulled her close to him. And it had been the truth; and Lindsay was asleep almost before she felt Michael's hand on her stomach.

The next morning, they found the note. Of course there was a note.

Michael,

I've gone back home to visit your mother.

George Sr.

-

They didn't follow him.

-

If there was such a thing as domestic bliss - and that was a weird concept, if you were a Bluth (or even if you weren't) - this was it. Michael made breakfast, and George Michael and Maeby sat across the table from them, and they both pretended not to notice the way their knees touched under the table.

When the kids mumbled something about going for a walk, Lindsay was kissing Michael almost before they were off the boat.

There was no vodka to blame this time, and maybe that was why he kissed her back, his mouth hot and salty against hers. Lindsay bit her lip as he kissed his way down her neck, and when she pulled his shirt off, he moaned into her mouth something that might have been "Lindsay."

He fucked her on the floor of the boat, and the only thing Lindsay had ever wished for this fervently was to not be a Bluth, even if she no longer believed that wishes could come true if you just closed your eyes. So she opened them, and Michael was still there, and he was still inside her.

"Lindsay," he'd whispered, and pushed her hair back from her face, and the gesture was so tender that she almost couldn't stand it, because nobody had ever touched her that way before.

"Michael," she said, because she couldn't say what she really wanted to say, and she thought that maybe later she'd leave a note.

It took him six days to propose to her, and Lindsay almost didn't say yes, because nothing this good ever happened in real life, and she really didn't want to wake up and still be in California and be a Bluth, but not in the way she wanted. But he had touched her hand, and she had said yes, had almost breathed it, and he'd kissed her, and it wasn't a dream, after all.

Lindsay couldn't for the life of her understand why George Michael and Maeby had looked horrified at the news, and had stepped away from one another like they still believed in cooties. She thought they'd be happy now that they were related again.

She changed her name just for the hell of it, because she hadn't been a Bluth, but now she was.

-

Lindsay doesn't believe in happily ever after. But she believes in Michael.