Title: Down the Line

Pairing: Michonne/Andrea

Rating: T

Synopsis: Now never seems to be the right time for Andrea and Michonne.

Bkny's Bts: This bit takes place before Woodbury and after my last it almost two weeks ago (sorry for the delay - real life, hurricanes, and so on ) because I wanted to complete my big lesbian backstory before shit got real on the show and finished it today because you guys asked nicely (thanks to all who reviewed, btw). I'm hoping it'll be enough to keep your interpretation of Michandrea warm and gay through the winter season. Title was copped from the José González song that's pretty much splattered all over this story (was listening as I wrote). Hope you enjoy. And if you're in the mood, lemme know what you think.

Her fingers carelessly plucking thin blades of green grass, Andrea looked on as Michonne disemboweled and beheaded yet another invisible opponent. Her swift, lissome figure moved about the country meadow like a serene whirlwind. The slim katana she wielded in her gloved hands seemed more an extension of her body than a weapon.

Were it not for the smell of the mutilated walkers chained to the lone cedar behind her, Andrea would have sworn she was dreaming herself into some picturesque post-modern samurai movie. The peaceful scene that surrounded her was so divergent from what she'd known in the preceding weeks of winter, she could hardly believe it was real.

In a world where the dead walked the earth, it was often the simple things that felt strange. Even the once comforting sound of birds chirping became confounding. One couldn't help but wonder how nature could go on singing songs of life when unnatural death lurked around every corner.

As far as Andrea was concerned, there was no use in trying to make sense of the senseless. She simply came to conclusion that staying alive was of more immediate concern than answering philosophical quandaries. As of late, staying alive seemed less of an unworkable task than it had at the beginning of the end. And for that she could only thank one person.

Michonne didn't just survive amidst the debris of civilization-she flourished. It was as if her entire life had been lived in preparation for catastrophe. Of course, Andrea couldn't be sure what Michonne's life had been like before the plague swept across Georgia. The unforthcoming woman scarcely spoke about anything more than the weather, where to travel, what to eat, and when to take shelter. Outside of a few well-placed nods, she contributed little in the way of conversation.

During their first few weeks together, the lack of communication between them irritated Andrea to no end. But as months passed, she became fluent in Michonne's unspoken language. The calm and efficient way she dealt with walkers answered more questions about her than words could. Andrea soon learned that Michonne neither pitied nor feared the undead. She simply used and dispatched them to suit her needs.

She also discovered that the cloaked, walker flanked woman's ominous appearance belied a temperate and selfless disposition. When rations ran too low for two, her taciturn friend wouldn't hesitate to forfeit her meals until they could replenish their supplies.

Dark furrowed brows, folded arms, deep breaths, far off stares, and narrowed brown eyes were now as decipherable to Andrea as the alphabet. Still, there were times when she was hard-pressed to discern what was going on behind Michonne's impassive façade.

Andrea's face scrunched in confusion. Hours had passed and Michonne was still fervently battling phantoms in the unseasonably hot mid-day sun. She was attempting to work off steam, no doubt. But with merely two bottles of rainwater between them, the prudence of the undertaking was questionable at best.

"I think you got 'em," Andrea called out across the field, not noticing Michonne's slight misstep at the sound of her voice. "Take a break," She implored, patting the ground beside where she sat.

The request went unheeded.

Her friend now advanced, retreated, slashed, and spun with more fervor than she'd exhibited all day. Although she didn't quite know why, Andrea suspected her intrusion would only exacerbate the other woman's unusually asocial mood. Michonne had blatantly avoided her all day and would probably continue in the same vein all night.

The thought was enough to make Andrea's heart sink. After months of hammering away at the massive barricades that surrounded her traveling companion, she finally felt like she was getting somewhere. With each forward advance, however, she felt the circumspect woman take a few steps back. It was beginning to feel like they were stuck in a purgatorial waltz.

Andrea could feel the comfortable camaraderie she shared with Michonne shifting into something frustratingly ambiguous. In the winter months she'd sought warmth in Michonne's open arms. With the arrival of spring those open arms abruptly turned to the cold shoulder.

For that Andrea largely blamed herself. Always too hard or too fast, she'd never been one for restraint in any of her pursuits. But there was something about the end of the world that made her even bolder than before.

When she'd first felt the familiar stir of attraction for Michonne, she wasn't at all shy about making it known. It was only down to her genuine affection for the woman that her blossoming desire didn't manifest as more than seemingly meaningless flirtation. As much as she craved the physical catharsis of sex, Andrea was certain she would need more. And she wasn't at all certain that Michonne had more to give.

A coughing spasm suddenly wracked Andrea's body and subsequently worked the chained walkers behind her into a frenzy. Michonne sheathed her sword seconds after the commotion reached her ears.

"I'm fine," Andrea reassured feebly as she saw her friend approach.

"You're getting sick," Michonne stated matter-of-factly as she crouched down in front of the increasingly pallid blonde.

"I haven't gotten so much as a cold in years," Andrea replied arrogantly before another succession of coughs contradicted her denial. "I'm not sick," She continued defensively as her coughing subsided.

Ignoring the protests, Michonne removed her right glove and gently pressed the back of her hand to Andrea's forehead. "You're not feverish," She declared after a quiet moment of consideration.

"Told you," Andrea teased with a smirk. "You can go back to swinging your…" She added, trailing off as she crankily jutted her chin toward the katana over Michonne's shoulder.

Heedless of Andrea's petulance, Michonne retrieved a lone cough drop from her knapsack and silently offered it.

"I'm fine," Andrea maintained, all the while inwardly cursing herself for being so bullheaded. It was a characteristic that served her well in her legal career. Her personal relationships, on the other hand, only suffered because of it. She remembered how her last boyfriend broke off their engagement with the complaint that he felt more like her opposing counsel than her future husband.

Breathing a sigh of defeat, Michonne placed the cough drop in her pocket before gracefully stalking back to the open field to resume her rite.

Andrea's sky-blue eyes greedily devoured her every move. She'd always admired Michonne's proficiency with her weapon. But with each passing day that admiration took on a more carnal hue. As the sun danced across the gleaming surface of the swift moving blade, Andrea wondered if the swordswoman was as perceptive a lover as she was a fighter.

Past experience informed her of the answer. Andrea's last sexual encounter had been as fast and furious as her partner's hair trigger temperament. Though it provided her with some much needed release, sex with Shane was quite literally over before it even began.

The almost comical memory of her adrenalin fueled romp with the sheriff's deputy faded as she watched Michonne whisk her sword through the wind like a streak of liquid silver. Even though they'd yet to even kiss, Andrea was certain all of her past lovers would pale in comparison. In fact, they already did.

Her high school sweetheart, the awful German DJ she'd fallen for while backpacking through Europe one summer, her freshman year roommate, her priggish ex-fiancé; she tried to imagine who among them could have been hardy enough to survive on their own for as long as Michonne did, who might have been so ingenious as to utilize walkers to their benefit, who would have selflessly put their life on the line to save hers.


As dismal as the thought was, there was something rousing about the conclusion. It moved Andrea, both literally and figuratively. Rising from her shaded spot, she strolled toward the middle of the pasture. Squinting against the sun's glare, she stood back a safe distance from where Michonne continued to pare the air with her katana.

"I'm sorry," Andrea apologized a bit too loudly.

The seldom spoken words were enough to completely halt Michonne's movement. With a slight motion she planted her blade in the ground.

"I know I'm not easy to live with…under the best circumstances," Andrea admitted as she drew nearer, "Under the worst, I'm probably unbearable," She finished, stepping within arm's reach of the guarded woman.

"I'm dealing," Michonne replied evenly.

Andrea grinned. It was as close to sweet talk as she was likely to get. And still she wanted more. Her pale eyes drifting from Michonne's beautifully salient features to the slight sheen of sweat on her radiant brown skin, Andrea unconsciously licked her lips. When at last she tore her gaze away, she found questioning eyes searching hers for answers.

"Michonne," Andrea started uncertainly before coughing lightly.

Without a word Michonne pulled the cough drop from her pocket, nimbly unwrapped it and brought it up to Andrea's lips. The stifling tension that had been building between the women all winter now permeated the spring air around them. Their contrasting eyes stayed locked as the slight offering was exchanged.

Andrea was first to break contact, her mind racing with ideas for converting sentiment to sentences. "We need to talk," She said, looking up after a long silence. It was then she realized the other woman's attention was no longer with her.

Following Michonne's line of sight, Andrea barely spotted five walkers trudging across the field. While not an immediate danger, they were a danger nonetheless.

"Can we talk about this later?" Michonne asked as she snatched her sword out of the ground and strode almost eagerly toward the skewed line of roamers.

"Of course," Andrea answered quietly while reaching into her waistband to remove her Beretta. Brusquely pulling her gun's slide back, she set off to provide cover for her surefooted partner. Whether they survived another two weeks or another two years, she was starting to think later would never come for them.