Title: Interlude
Author: Alli aka Lavender
Rating: PG
Summary: A tag to How The Other Half Lives. I wish they had done more M/M stuff with that episode. *sigh* The lyrics are from "The Scientist" by Coldplay, a lovely song by an amazing band. Buy their CDs!! [lol]


Interlude

I had to find you, tell you I need you
And tell you I set you apart


Michael tensed, hearing the bedroom door creak open and shut with a click. He squinted in the darkness, a deep breath escaping his lips as he saw that it was just Maria. His muscles relaxed as she pulled back the covers and slid in next to him, resting her cheek on an extra pillow.

He rolled over to face her. "What are you doing here?"

Maria looked at him for a moment, shrugging slightly. He could almost feel her breath on his face. "I don't know. Do you want me to leave?"

Michael rolled his eyes. "No."

"Okay." She paused. "I was kind of freaked out by myself."

"Yeah."

Tell me your secrets, and nurse me your questions

Maria was silent for a moment, her eyes scanning the room as they adjusted to the dark. "Your room is bigger than mine."

"Maria..."

"What? I'm just saying. I'm just the dippy little sidekick to them. They could throw me in the coat closet if they wanted. Little do they know I'm the real brains behind it all." She tapped her forehead twice, and then his.

Michael cracked the barest of smiles. "Whatever." His eyes moved slowly around the room. "This place is really..."

"Cool?"

"I was going for fucked up, but sure."

"Well, yeah, but Michael, they have like, fifty rooms and a giant pool. Don't tell me you don't like that," she insisted.

"Yeah, I guess."

Oh let's go back to the start

Maria moved onto her back, scooting a bit closer to him, almost touching. "I can stay here tonight, right?"

Michael nodded. "Sure."

"Poor Laurie. Stuck in this huge place all by herself."

"It's probably better than being in a mental institution."

"True."

They started at each other for a moment, and Maria spoke again. "You're worried about her. You care about her, don't you?"

Michael wasn't quite sure what she was implying. "Care about her?"

"Yeah." Maria sucked her bottom lip into her mouth briefly. "Like, you know. Like family. Maybe."

"She's not my family," Michael said quickly, looking away. "But if you mean I don't want her to get killed by evil aliens, well, yeah."

"Well, that's a given," Maria replied. "But...I don't know. Nevermind."

"Yeah, nevermind," Michael echoed absently.

Maria rolled onto her back, her foot brushing up against his ankle for a moment. "Wouldn't you love to live in a place like this?" She looked over at him when he gave no response. "Michael?"

He shrugged, now also lying on his back next to her. "Maybe. It's not so great."

"You could lie in bed all day and just have everything handed to you on a silver platter," she mused, a wistful smile on her lips. "You wouldn't like that?"

"Dunno."

Maria frowned and rolled onto her side again, facing him. She tugged at his arm gently. "Michael, talk to me."

He looked at her. "I am talking to you."

"No you're not. You're just answering everything I say with 'I don't know's and 'maybe's."

"Maybe that's all I have to say," Michael shot back defensively.

"Michael." She sighed and moved closer to him, resting her head on his shoulder. He tensed slightly. "I don't want to argue with you now."

Michael let out a long breath. "Me neither."

"Then why won't you tell me what's really going on in there?" she whispered, looking up into his eyes.

"I don't tell anybody what's going on in there," he replied, equally as soft.

"You should," Maria protested, rubbing her cheek against the fabric covering his shoulder. "It would make things easier."

"No, it would make things more complicated."

Maria snorted. "Michael, things are already complicated. I don't think voicing it out loud is going to make it worse."

"You never know," he said quietly.

Sighing, Maria pressed her face into his body for a moment, and then turned her body away from him. "Okay. If you don't want to, I can't make you. G'night."

"Night." Michael stared at the back of her blonde head, draping his arm tentatively over her waist.

Nobody said it was easy

Maybe he'd tell her in the morning.

No one ever said it would be this hard

end