A/N: [PLEASE READ] Okay, so, I've been thinking of this idea ever since I saw A House Divided. I understand that there are many, MANY Michaela/Sully fans out there, but I personally prefer Daniel (note that I formed this opinion before watching Season Six). So I'm going to give this idea a shot, and see how far this goes. Michaela is a bit OOC (out of character, for those who don't know) at the end of this chapter, since in the beginning I was using the script and then changed the ending. I know these first few chapters really aren't anything to be proud of (in the future, I'm hoping to rewrite them), but for now all I ask is that you give it some time.
Also, this is going to focus more on the actual effects of what Michaela and Daniel did, rather than their relationship itself, so they're going to go incognito (after this chapter) until Part Three.
So, without further adieu...
It was all the woman could see as she tried to make her way through the town. She adjusted her hat in a desperate attempt to clear her vision from the torrential downpour above her, but had little success.
The water slid down the roofs of the nearby houses and flooded the streets. The woman's horse sloshed through puddle after puddle until the two approached another figure standing in the middle of the street, also soaked by the droplets from the heavens.
"Dorothy," the first one panted. "Have you seen Sully this morning?" She brushed her long, reddish-brown hair out of her worried eyes. "I've been looking all over for him."
The second woman, Dorothy, rested an arm on her converser's horse. "No, Michaela, I haven't." She noticed the fear in Michaela's brown irises and knew something was amiss. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, Dorothy. Something terrible happened last night." She went on to explain the argument between Sully and Daniel, and the former's abrupt departure. As she told her friend some of Sully's thoughts about his best friend, she felt her heart sink. What if he never did come back?
"Michaela," Dorothy said firmly, "Sully loves you. I've never seen a man more devoted to his wife."
But the words passed right by the woman in front of her. The couple had never had a fight this bad before, and all she could think of was abandonment—her husband had left her; he was gone forever. The one whom she'd loved so dearly… And all because of an innocent mistake. Surely Daniel didn't…?
The sound of a train whistle interrupted her thoughts. With Sully and Daniel's names echoing in her brain, Michaela abruptly ended her conversation with Dorothy and tore off for the train station.
There was only one man there; the one with enough humility to sit out in the rain while everyone else waited inside nearby buildings. He ran a hand through his mop of hair and examined the hat in his hands with a sad expression.
What had he been thinking, having affections for his best friend's wife? It was foolish and childish, he knew, but he couldn't help himself. She was perfect, and it just wasn't fair. All the girls had preferred Sully when they were younger—couldn't Daniel have this one? Just this once?
Michaela spotted him sitting on a bench next to the approaching train, and froze before she felt her heartbeat pick up again. It always did that whenever she saw him, and she was never really sure why. If she didn't know better, she would've called it a crush, but the mere thought of that was completely impossible.
Without a second thought, the woman headed over to Daniel and dismounted her horse. He stood up politely to greet her.
"Those britches look very uncomfortable," she remarked, eyeing the clear wrinkles of overnight use.
"I slept at the Gold Nugget," he explained. He looked down on her with such concern and compassion that she had to bring up Sully before she lost complete focus.
"You didn't happen to see Sully there, did you?" Michaela bit her lip.
Daniel's brows deepened slightly. "'D he leave home?"
A slight nod from the doctor confirmed his suspicions, and the two awkwardly looked away.
Daniel's face remained stoic, but inside he was boiling with rage. How dare Sully leave his wife in such stressful times! Didn't he have any sense at all?
He turned back to her. "Michaela, I'm so sorry for all of this. The last thing I wanted was to make trouble between you and Sully."
She felt herself becoming desperate. "Let's go look for him. Tell him what nonsense he's been thinking, and how absurd all this is!"
He looked at her and felt his heart start to break. He couldn't keep it from her, not anymore. "I can't do that, Michaela."
"Why not?" she demanded.
"'Cause it ain't nonsense." His voice broke as he saw her eyes widen in realization. "What Sully's thinking is true."
A million emotions hit her all at once. Sully slipped her mind for a second as she felt her heart swell with… happiness?
"No." Maybe if she ignored the feelings, they'd go away.
He knew it was killing her, but he continued anyway. "You are the finest woman I have ever met."
"No!" The compliments were starting to wear down on her.
"Sully's the best friend I've ever had," Daniel explained. "That's why I have to go."
"You can't!" she said, and felt tears well up in her eyes. With both Daniel and Sully gone, who would she turn to? Who would hold her together?
He said nothing, knowing it would be hopeless to argue with her. It was better to just go back home, and pretend like nothing ever happened. To run away from his feelings. All he had to do was turn and leave; board the train that was ever so close…
She reached up to grab hold of his arm. "Not without me!"
The words shocked both of them equally.
"What?" Daniel was incredulous.
"Please," she begged, and felt her shoulders shake with an oncoming sob. "Sully hasn't shown up all morning, and I can't help but fear that he… may be gone… for good." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "There's no one now."
"Michaela, you know I could never do that!" he argued. What was wrong with her? "You have a family to consider here!" The train whistled again threateningly as the last passengers started to board. "Besides, the act would be crazy! It's not as if you feel the same way about me that I do you."
She took a step closer to him, and felt the butterflies in her stomach flutter around faster than they ever had before. There was only one way to confirm if her speculated "crush" was true.
Michaela reached up to take Daniel's face in her hands, and pulled his lips down to meet hers.
As the two boarded their train, they weren't quite sure of anything—where they'd go, how they'd live—but all they knew was that they were together, which was the best thing for now.
Unfortunately, neither of them noticed the man who had now approached the train station. He was clad in Cheyenne-style clothing, and his hair was grown long like the Indians'—but he was not one of them.
Byron Sully watched as the train, and his life, slowly disappeared from view.