I went on high alert as soon as I heard the knock on my front door. Sam and Maddy usually called before coming over and both had a key either way. I snatched the gun closest, a beautiful P90, and crept closer to the door, staying out of sight from the windows. In one fluid movement, I unlocked and flung open the door, ready to take out the intruder without a thought. I froze. Staring into his weary eyes, I tried not to let my jaw drop.
"Michael," I gasped. His lips twitched into a brief, unconvincing smile.
I stepped back to get a good look at him. He was leaning against the doorframe as if it was the only reason he was still standing. His clothes were the same ones I'd last seen him in but cleaned, looking strange on his weary body. There were large bags under his eyes, a small beard on his face, and hair sticking out at odd angles. He looked as though he'd aged ten years in the last month.
"Can I..." he coughed, knees buckling. "Can I come in, Fi?"
Without a further thought, I slipped under his arm, helping him walk into the house. I kicked the door closed behind us, then continued to guide Michael to the couch. He smiled at me gratefully.
"I suppose you want an explanation," he said hoarsely, repositioning himself into a better sitting position. I shook my head, placing a hand on his arm.
"Not right now. Wait until Sam and your mom get here."
Michael looked reluctant, but nodded.
"I'll call them in a few hours," I continued, gaining a confused look. "You get some rest first."
I could almost see a literal wave of relief wash over Michael as he sank in to the couch cushions.
"I really shouldn't," he mumbled, eyes already fluttering shut. I didn't reply. He was unconscious within seconds.
I stood there, watching him sleep for a moment, unsure of what to do. I really should at least let Sam and Maddy know Michael was safe, a live and back in Miami, but at the same time...
I racked my brain, trying to remember if I'd ever seen Michael asleep without every muscle in his body being tense. I rarely had ever seen him asleep, let alone peaceful! It was strange. Though he had looked so old and bereft of energy just moments before, he looked younger now, younger maybe even than he truly was, save the beard.
Deciding Sam and Maddy could wait, I sat beside Michael, tucking a loose clump of hair behind his ear. I let my fingers trail down his cheekbone, reveling in the simple fact I could touch him.
He was back. He was safe. He was alive. I felt like jumping for joy and curling into his side both at the same time. I had thousands of questions. I knew something unfriendly was probably on its way. But right now, I didn't care.
Michael was home.
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!