Disclaimer: This is nothing but fanfiction. I do not own these characters and do not stand to profit from them beyond the fun of making them do and say what I want to in my head.
Author's Note: This is my first story for Moonlighting! It's an alternative version of most of Season Four. I feel like the way the writers separated David and Maddie for so long, with Maddie perpetually unsure of her feelings and David perpetually pining for her, completely changed the tone of the show. I know that backstage realities made some kind of separation necessary, so I started wondering about alternate ways to physically separate Maddie and David without creating The Great Angstfest of 1987. This is what I came up with. It would be the first "episode" of Season Four, taking place the morning after To Heiress Human.
Special thanks to Jen for her encouragement and mad beta-skills.
A TRIP TO THE MOON
Maddie sat in the chair by her window and watched him sleep. His hair stood straight up, his face was pressed firmly into the bed, and he was completely still. His arms and legs were splayed out as far as they could stretch, a stark contrast to the awkward positioning of those same limbs in the cramped confines of her BMW just a few hours ago. He looked as if nothing short of a train running through her bedroom would wake him. She thought of how exhausted he must have been to sleep so soundly.
It made sense. The last week couldn't have been any easier on him than it had been on her. She shook her head silently, disbelieving. Had it really only been a week since this whole mess had started? She thought back. It was on Monday night that she had gotten that call from out of the blue from Sam. Tuesday night was that awful dinner with him and David and then…then she had spent the night with Sam. She glanced at David again, sleeping peacefully in the same bed in which she had let Sam make love to her just a few days before, and felt incredibly guilty. After David's behavior at dinner, she had made up her mind that he was never going to be the kind of man she should be with, and she should make a go of it with Sam. She thought making love with Sam would help solidify that decision and firm up her resolve. But it did nothing to drive David from her heart; it had only served to fill it with guilt. It was a feeling she had become all too familiar with over the past week.
When she remembered the events of Wednesday, the guilt only deepened: Sam had proposed to her. She closed her eyes, trying to shut out the memory of the earnest look in his eyes and the sincerity in his voice as he offered her the promise of the kind of life she had always dreamed about. Even now, she couldn't believe that she had walked away from it. Quite literally, in fact. Looking back, that was probably the moment she had known that she was going to turn him down. When a girl is proposed to by the man she truly loves and wants to be with, she does not rush across town in the middle of the night to sit on a trunk in an unfurnished apartment with another man.
Maddie's face softened and her eyes dropped down to her hands resting in her lap as she thought of the kiss she and David had shared on that trunk. They had kissed before that night, but then it was all passion and heat and fear of never seeing him again and it was over before she even knew what was happening. But this kiss was different. It was deliberate and tender and full of every feeling they had ever felt for each other. There was no turning back after a kiss like that, she knew that now. But at the time, it wasn't so clear. She had returned home to find Sam waiting for her, ever loyal, ever ready to take care of her the way any woman would be thrilled to be taken care of. Everything that had seemed so clear to her while sitting on that trunk with David and at the bowling alley, doing what they did best, was muddled again. Suddenly she wasn't so sure that turning Sam down was the right thing to do. After all, he had offered her the moon, while David had yet to say anything about what he wanted.
By the end of the day on Thursday, she had realized it didn't matter. She knew that whatever was going on between David and her, whatever had been going on between them for the last two years, was reason enough to make it impossible to give Sam what he wanted. It wasn't an easy decision, but she knew, at least she hoped, it was the right one.
Still, she wasn't exactly happy about it. She resented having to make it at all. She resented Sam for showing up and forcing her to confront her feelings for David before she was ready. And she resented David for not saying something and possibly making her decision easier. It's not like she hadn't given him plenty of opportunity to speak up. In fact, those had been her exact words: "Speak now or forever hold your peace". And still, nothing.
So when she returned home prepared for a tender goodbye with Sam and found David in her bed, it was the last straw. All week, every time she was focused on David, Sam popped up; every time she was focused on Sam, David popped up. And here he was again, expecting everything to fall effortlessly into place now that Sam was gone. She had become furious with him, he had become furious right back, and just when it seemed that their anger had taken them to a point that would be impossible to come back from, it was happening: his mouth on hers, her fingers clawing at his clothes, his fists in her hair. It was like the garage all over again, but it didn't stop there. It was breaking furniture and rolling bodies and no time to think about anything but how it felt to finally be in that place, with every moment of the last two years fueling it all.
Maddie's face flushed just thinking about it. And her chest tightened as she remembered David's voice when he told her he loved her, and the way he made love to her the second time. It was as tender and deliberate as their second kiss in his apartment had been. And real. So real, in fact, that she lay awake most of the night, wondering if she was ready for the full-blown relationship she knew David would want. Every doubt she had ever had about him, about their compatibility, and, if she was being honest, about her own insecurities when it came to men, flooded her thoughts. After all, she was thirty-six years old and had managed to avoid committing to any relationship for more than a few months. She had always been afraid of losing her sense of independence, her sense of control, to any man, and with David…well, sometimes she felt completely powerless against her feelings for him.
By yesterday morning, she had convinced herself that she had confused her sexual attraction for David with meaningful feelings and that, now that the tension that had been building between them was resolved, she could wash her hands of it all. It would be best for them both, and for their business relationship and friendship, if they would keep things strictly platonic.
Of course, that had lasted until the very first time she was alone in the car with him again. She chuckled a bit to herself, thinking of her ridiculous pact talk. There were many times over the last two years that she had wanted to kiss him, wanted to do more than kiss him, and had managed to stop herself. But that was before she knew what is was to be held by him, touched by him, made love to by him. Now that she knew, she couldn't imagine how she had ever convinced herself that she could walk away from him. No, after the back and forth of the previous day, she had to throw her hands up and admit it: she wanted him just as much as he wanted her.
David stirred on the bed for a moment before sighing and sinking deeper into the mattress, and Maddie smiled at how content he looked. Yesterday, she had been so annoyed that he seemed so happy. She was envious that he could be so sure of what he wanted and so unafraid of what disasters may await them in the future. Now that she had finally admitted to herself, to him, that he was what she wanted, she wasn't so envious anymore. Not that she wasn't still unsure about the future, of course. She dreaded going to the office on Monday and figuring out how they were going to do this, how this thing between them was going to impact their work together. She still had no idea what she wanted on that front, but thankfully, she had two more days before she had to face it.
Just then, David jolted from his sleep with a start. "Maddie?" he mumbled sleepily, lifting his head from the bed slightly, searching for her with one eye still closed. He looked completely disheveled – and impossibly adorable. She couldn't help but smile.
"I'm right here, David."
"What are ya doing?" he wondered, peering at the digital clock on the bedside table.
"Just thinking…" she answered with a sigh as she slipped under the covers and next to him.
"Anything you'd like to share with the class?" he asked, cradling Maddie's head on his chest.
She contemplated, for a moment, telling him everything that was on her mind: her regret over what they had both been through over the past week, her relief that they had finally admitted their feelings, her fear and uncertainty about the future. But she decided against it. There would be plenty of time for that later.
"I'm just thinking that…I'm really glad today's Saturday," she told him, reaching her arm across his chest and pulling him still closer.
"David, I'm serious! We have to get out of bed eventually," Maddie teased, squirming away from David's nibbling of her neck.
"Says who?" His mumbled into her skin.
"Says that," she answered, indicating the rumbling sound coming from his mid-section.
He shook his head. "You must be hard of hearing Ms. Hayes, 'cause that begs to differ," he argued, kissing his way up her chin.
"Not that 'that', you pervert," she chided, slapping him away playfully. "Your stomach 'that'. It's been growling for half an hour. It's barely been fed in the last 36 hours."
"Yes," she agreed with mock exasperation.
"OK….well…I guess my fluids could use some replenishing."
She rolled her eyes at his smirk.
"You wanna order in? My treat."
"I don't know, David. I was kind of hoping we could go out. You know…reacquaint ourselves with the world…?"
"Out there?" he questioned, nodding toward the window.
"I hear it's beautiful this time of year." She looked up at him with hopeful eyes.
"All right, Blondie," he resigned. "Let's go out. A night on the town. Two sailors on shore leave."
She smiled and slipped out of bed, immediately searching for her clothes.
He slowly swung his legs around and prepared to stand. "I just don't know what place is gonna be open this late on a Sunday night…"
"A laundromat, David?" Maddie stood inside the door, illuminated by the neon sign that announced '50 cents per cycle'.
David walked ahead of her, past the first row of machines. "Hey, it's ten o'clock. The pickings are slim."
"First In-n-Out burger and now this? You spoil me."
"Don't let it go to your head. And don't go bragging to all your girlfriends. Soon everyone will be lining up at the door and it'll be impossible to get a good…dryer."
"I don't know, David," she played along as she walked further into the room. "It'll be hard to keep a place like this a secret forever. I mean, it's got mood lighting…"
"Very romantic," he agreed, taking a step back toward her. "And music…"
"Hmmm…" She turned her head, trying to locate the source of the instrumental ballad filling the room.
"It'd be a shame to let it go to waste." He had stopped just a step or two in front of her and held out his right hand.
"You're not going to steal my watch again, are you?" she asked him suspiciously as she took his hand and stepped into his arms. They fell immediately into step with the music.
He laughed. "Well, now I'm not. Really, Maddie. If I was going to pull a stunt like that, do you think I'd tell you first? You still have a lot to learn from me."
"There's more? I still haven't mastered lock-picking and stomping on bags of shaving cream. I don't know if I'm ready for more."
"Oh you're ready, kid. You're a natural."
He nodded. "From Day One."
"Which day was that? The day I fired you? Or was that the day I cleaned your clock in my kitchen?"
"Well, maybe it was Day Two then. The point is that you've come a long way, baby."
She pulled back to look him in the eyes. "You really mean that, David?"
"Cross my heart," he answered softly, placing her hand on the left side of his chest.
"Thank you," she almost whispered. "You're not so bad yourself, you know."
David was visibly taken aback by the sincerity and vulnerability that was such a rarity in Maddie's voice. He leaned in and kissed her softly on her lips, then pulled her close again. Almost immediately, she laid her head on his shoulder and he let it grow heavy.
"Uh-huh," she admitted.
"Want me to take you home?"
Maddie didn't answer immediately. She did want to go home, but all she wanted to do was sleep. She hadn't done much of that this week, and realized that she hadn't spent a night alone in her bed since Monday night. She wanted nothing more than a chance to be alone, to let everything that had happened between David and her sink in. To process it all. But after all of her pact talk of yesterday, she wasn't sure how David would take it.
She pulled back to face him, but her eyes were fixed on his chest. "David, would you mind if…I'm very tired and –"
"You want me to drop you off, don't you?"
The flat tone of his voice forced her eyes to meet his. "It's not what you think, David. It's just been a very long week and I really need some time by myself."
He searched her face for a moment, and she looked back at him with all the sincerity she felt. She could tell that he knew how important it was to her that he believe her. His face softened.
"Sure thing, Blondie. I could use a night off, too. It's been quite a week all around."
He smiled sheepishly and held out his arm to her. She let out a sigh of relief and took it.
"Thank you, David."
"My pleasure, Ms. Hayes," he responded with a note of teasing in his voice.
His attempt to lighten the mood touched and amused her. She offered him a small smile, which he immediately returned.
Maddie closed the front door behind her and rested against it as she listened to David drive off in her car. When did that happen, she wondered? How long had they been sharing her car? That was just like David, she thought, to maneuver his way into her car, into her life, into her heart, before she even realized he was there. Rather than being annoyed, however, she only smiled. She could admit now that it was part of his charm.
She walked slowly up the stairs, the exhaustion of the previous week weighing heavy on her feet. She entered her bedroom, immediately peeling of her clothes, and noticed the light on her answering machine blinking.
It's too soon for David to be home. Did he stop at a pay phone? She shook her head. Of course her first thought would be about David. She pressed 'play' and sat down on the bed, taking off her earrings.
"Maddie? It's me…Dad. Honey, you need to call home right away. Your mom's in the hospital. She's okay…she's going to be okay, but…just call as soon as you–"
Maddie didn't let the message play out in its entirety before she leaped for the phone.