verushka70: S4E1 Walt alone silhouette wearing hat and holding shotgun (Default)
(continued from Part 1 because x-posting from DW to LJ; the entire story is too big for one LJ post)

7.

The next time everything was the same – coffee, talking, flirting, his lips pursing into a self-conscious, downward-glancing smile, her eyebrows lifting happily, just like the last time and the time before that and the time before that. Except this time there was no question: he knew something would happen between them. He just didn't know what.

This time he parked and they went up to her apartment. It went roughly the same, except instead of in the front seat of his fucking station wagon, it was on her Chesterfield.
She brought him up to her apartment, she made him tea, she sat him down on the Chesterfield. )
verushka70: S4E1 Walt alone silhouette wearing hat and holding shotgun (Default)
Been reading through old fics on the old Windows partition of my Linux Thinkpad. Unfinished outnumbers finished probably 2 to 1, maybe 3 to 1. Sigh. Found this from 2009 -- not a good year for me. Based on the time-date stamp of the file, I started this a few months after my mother died. It's not exactly finished. It's not exactly unfinished. It is what it is, I guess, and probably as good as it's going to get. All errors are mine; un-beta-ed.

Ten Times Mike Didn't (And Once He Did)
~14,000 words; one shot; Mike/Nathalie; explicit-ish



She touched him first. It was a simple fact. Every time, she touched him first.

1.

At first he was so lost in a fog of shock and numbness, he didn't notice. Audrey was so sick. Sadie was so tough – and so not. (He couldn't call her on it; he was doing the same damn thing, just three times older and male.) Maddie was bewildered, bereft, pretending in her own little fantasy world. He was supposed to be their rock.

But he wasn't the rock. He was never the rock. Audrey was the rock. He was just the boat that came back to the rock every night and sailed out every morning, the boat that wouldn't know what to do with itself without the rock to tether itself to. But Audrey. And Sadie. And Maddie. Needed. They needed. He hadn't realized how much he needed them not to need him, until they really needed him.

And so he didn't notice Nathalie's warmth. She seemed warm with everyone, and his numbness was a nearly impenetrable layer, a thick glove he wore stiffly, not really feeling the things he touched or came into contact with. He didn't notice the looks she shone on him, the soft break of her smile, her curving her body towards his as they sat next to each other in the folding chairs at the support group. Didn't see the flustered way her eyes met his and then dropped, looking anywhere and everywhere but him, and then, emboldened, back at him.

After they were already well down the road together, he looked back on the very beginning, wondering how he could have been so stupid, how he could have missed the importance of all of Nathalie's tells. They are in his mind, now, trapped in cool, cop detail: he recalls her movements and eyebrows and deepening dimples. They come to him like evidence, like video from a security camera, with no feelings attached, as if something in him merely filed the information away, refusing to invest it with meaning.
The warmth, the current between them came from Nathalie. It sure couldn't have come from him. He felt cold, and dead, and numb. )

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