Something Unexpected

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The Elevator scene from "A Gifted Man." I was YouTube-ing and I got hooked on this video, and after watching it about 15 times, I felt inspired to write a fan fic about it.

http :/ www. youtube. com /watch?v= zrGr84aY6K0&feature =relmfu

Pretty self explanatrory. Kate X Michael, obviously.

Enjoy.

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He appears somewhat suddenly. She doesn't expect it, and the sight of him is somehow jarring when it shouldn't be. He does work here, after all.

"Michael."

She says his name with slight surprise.

"What are you doing here?" he asks.

The door slides shut. He pushes the button for the lobby and it lights up. Blue.

"I came to see Zeke's friend, and I have a couple patients upstairs." She nods, as if she needs to confirm her reasons, as if she's been caught somewhere she shouldn't be. "Where are you headed?"

He moves closer to her, and it strikes her as strange. Distant as Michael always was emotionally, he seems the kind of man who would prefer to take advantage of the minimal space provided in an elevator. But he has chosen to stand beside her. Not against the opposite wall.

"Ahhh to get some air," he says casually. He sounds a little bit stressed. Well, he always sounds stressed, but there's something more disconcerting about him right now. Perhaps it's the fact that he's standing so close to her. As if he needs the nearness.

She doesn't take her eyes off him right away. He's not wearing a jacket. Just a white shirt, which may as well be nothing. He looks lost, vaguely out of sorts without a jacket.

He stirs, staring straight ahead. He's fidgeting. Breathing funny. Blinking a lot.

Yes, something is definitely going on with him tonight.

"You okay?" She tries to keep it sounding casual, but it doesn't.

He glances at her, makes a muffled little noise and shrugs it off. Maybe he nodded a little. She can't tell.

"What's wrong?" she presses.

He still doesn't give.

"Nothin'."

The lack of echo in the elevator makes the exchange of voices sound disturbingly intimate.

She looks away from him and silently wonders why the elevator is taking so damn long. Michael's not going to talk the entire time. She knows it.

"Good God . . ." She can't help it. "Can't you men ever say what you're feeling?"

She doesn't give him time to reply. She knows he won't. So she lets her thoughts tumble.

"You know I practically just had to knock Zeke and Scottie's heads together to get them talking? My own husband can't bring himself to tell me he's thinking of leaving me."

She knows it's bold, but it's addicting to speak so openly with him. It feels . . . safer in the elevator. She turns to look at him, even knowing he won't turn to look back at her. A surge of anger rises in her, causing her voice to rise along with it.

"Which, by the way, when I mentioned to you this morning; you don't ask me what's wrong." She hopes he knows it's an accusation. "You offer me money, which is nice, but so not the point."

She doesn't even know what she's trying to say by now, and it's scaring her a little.

Michael was a smart man. He would figure it out.

That scared her even more.

She turns, faces him directly. The air is tense with confrontation. The space seems smaller. The temperature is warmer.

He's turning to face her, too.

"And now there is obviously something going on with you and you-"

He's leaning in. No, he's already in.

Her eyes close the instant his lips touch hers. Unlike all the other doctors who work late hours, he doesn't drink coffee in the evening. The taste of his lips is so different. Pure. Untainted.

She feels his hand sink into her hair as his body brushes against hers, and she suddenly wishes she was not wearing so many layers.

He does not only kiss her once. And his kiss is not shy.

He kisses just like she imagined he would, but also not quite. He is thorough, but not precise. He is languid, almost as if he is dreaming of kissing, not actually doing it. But his focus is uncanny.

He knows what he is doing. But he doesn't know why.

Every second she thinks he will let go, he presses on for just a bit longer. She feels trapped, weak, feverish. There is nothing she can do to escape these feelings, and he is making them stronger.

She wants to reciprocate the unprecedented passion, but she is too shocked to really move at all, or even think.

She can vaguely hear the gentle 'ting' of the elevator, the little wake up call - the sound that breaks the magic while sounding almost magical itself.

To her great dismay, he releases her from his sudden kiss.

Her eyes slowly open, and all she sees is him. His face is so close to hers, closer than he's ever been before. It is somehow disconcerting and strangely wonderful at once. Like they are breaking some very strict, unspoken boundary.

She stares at him for a moment that seems like an eternity. And he stares back at her, unflinching. As if he has no regret or confusion about what he's just done.

His eyes are deep, but not brimming with intimidating intelligence like they usually were. They are so different. Almost . . . blank. But they only look blank because they are filled with feelings and nothing else. She can't describe it any other way.

He won't stop staring at her like that.

He's still staring at her when she leaves the elevator.

She walks out in a daze. Steps slowly out of the small, warm space of the elevator and into the cool, sterile air of the lobby. She takes in her surroundings, but they don't register as anything more than scattered, beautiful concepts. Dark, bright, shadows, lights, glass.

Somehow he's now walking ahead of her, and she can't accept that he's moving away from her. She says his name, hoping it will stop him before he's out of her sight.

It does.

He turns and looks back at her, as only a deer in the headlights could.

The lights on the streets outside blink and shimmer faintly behind him, and everything is a blur except for his face. But his expression... she cannot explain it.

He looks so sure of himself, but so innocent. Young, and almost fragile.

She can't stand it, staring at him this way. They're surrounded by a crowd, but she still feels like they are the only two people in the room. She can't stand not being able to tear her eyes away from the man in front of her, spellbound by the sparkling street lights that glow behind him like a dozen unspoken promises. She can't stand thinking of the beautiful possibilites, of the night that could be waiting for them just outside those doors.

She catches her breath and offers her token excuse to leave.

"I have to go back to the office now."

His face changes in yet another inexplicable way. His eyes open wider, but they offer her no answers for his behavior whatsoever.

His silence is agonizing.

He doesn't argue with her to stay.

And she was so desperately hoping he would.