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21 September 2007 @ 02:42 pm
Love and the Logical [The Office; Michael/Jan]  
TITLE: Love and the Logical
CHAPTER 1
FANDOM: The Office
PAIRING: Michael/Jan
SPOILERS: "Cocktails" (3x18)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

"Are you still nauseous?" she heard Michael asking as they exited the interstate. They were just ten minutes from his condo now.

All Jan could do was nod in response -- she had to keep her mouth closed tight. She hadn't had that much to drink... and she'd had drinks on an empty stomach before so it couldn't have been the combination of alcohol and no food. Maybe it was vestiges of stress, leftover from the idea of admitting publicly that she was dating Michael Scott of her own free will.

"Are you gonna be sick?"

As he asked, she felt her throat start to burn. She nodded emphatically and felt the car swerve as Michael pulled over and pressed the button to roll her window down quickly. Jan had barely enough time to lean out the window before her stomach emptied itself -- not that there was much of anything in there to begin with. She felt Michael rubbing her back comfortingly and she remembered why she was with him.

When she was done, she heaved an exhausted sigh and leaned her head back against the seat, closing her eyes. The last time she'd gotten sick in a car was several years ago. She and Gould had been driving to the Hamptons and Jan had unfortunately ingested some bad sea food at the restaurant they stopped at on the way. That time she'd thrown up out the window, too. And when she was done, what had been the first thing out of Gould's mouth? "You didn't get any puke on the car, did you? I just had it detailed." The prick.

And this time around, what was the first thing out of Michael's mouth? "Jan! Honey, are you okay?"

His hand was on her forehead, checking for a temperature, and it felt almost burning hot against her clammy skin. She swallowed and nodded, rubbing her stomach gently. "Yeah. I'm okay." She tilted her head and looked over at him, tiredly. "I'm sorry."

Michael made a face, as if contemplating her sanity. "What are you apologizing for?" He shrugged. "You barfed. It happens."

"I might have gotten some on the outside of the door," she confessed, and waited for the outcome. Men and their cars...

"It's just a car, Jan. They're making 'em washable now." His grin relaxed her, and he squeezed her hand.

She squeezed back, tightly, and let her eyes show their gratitude. "Thank you."

He brought their hands to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "Let's get you home."

Home. That sounded more than good to Jan.


*****

At Michael's condo, he helped her inside with an arm tightly around her waist, even after her insistence that she was feeling better and could walk just fine. It was pretty much the truth. She could walk fine, but a little nausea remained. Perhaps if she laid down she'd feel better.

"Here we go," Michael announced, opening the door for her. He helped her take her jacket off and hung it up for her, then he guided her into the livingroom.

Jan closed her eyes a moment and lifted her hand back to touch his chest. "Michael, maybe we should just go to bed." Oh God, there went her turning stomach again... what was the matter with her?

"Yeah, good idea. I was gonna get you some water, but--"

"It's fine. Let's go upstairs."

He guided her up to his room, but Jan only made it halfway down the hall before she had to sprint for the bathroom. She slammed the door and was clutching the toilet in seconds. When she was through this time, she leaned her forehead on her arms, which were draped across the toilet bowl... and listened to the soft rapping on the other side of the door. "Jan? I know you like your privacy, but--"

Even in her weakened state, Jan rolled her eyes. "Come in, Michael, it's fine."

The door opened and Michael came in holding something up to her, a... washcloth? "Here."

Before she could protest or insist that she was fine for the fifteenth time, Michael was kneeling beside her, helping her away from the bowl and practically holding her up as he swept the dampened washcloth over her face.

"I must look amess," she commented, making a face at the awful taste in her mouth.

Michael just smiled affectionately and kept his focus on washing her face. "You look beautiful. You always do."

"Michael, really, you--"

"Just shut up, Jan, and let me do this for you," he snipped gently, and pecked her cheek for emphasis.

So Jan took his advice for once and shut her mouth. Her eyes watched him, watched the expression on his face as he finished washing hers. There was love written clearly in his eyes, though Jan didn't need to see his eyes to know how he felt about her. He'd been mentioning the 'L' word an awful lot lately. Casually, and sometimes not so casually. And every time he said it, she tried desperately but couldn't quite say it back. Dr. Perry kept telling her to follow her instincts where Michael was concerned. He said that if her instincts are telling her she loves Michael, she should tell him.

Trouble was, she didn't know what the hell her instincts were telling her. Her instincts were already painting a future for them. One that involved a house of their own, babies, and a picket fence -- and yes, maybe even ketchup fights (whatever the hell those were).

When Michael was finished, she patted his arm. "Michael, my back is starting to hurt. I think I should get up."

"Oh!" He stood up and deposited the washcloth in the sink. "Sure thing."

Jan moved to stand, and gasped in surprise when Michael suddenly bent down and scooped her into his arms. Instinctively, she looped her arms around his neck and listened to him groan on the way up.

"Whoa, jeez!" Once he was fully upright, he took a moment to shake his head. He looked to her with a smile and started carrying her into the bedroom. "How was this so much easier in Jamaica?"

Jan, exhausted as she was, smiled back. "I was wearing a lot less at the time, Michael."

His brows jumped toward his hairline as if reliving the entire vacation in a split-second. "True. God, I will never get over how amazing that vacation was," he sighed. Laying her down gently on the bed, he pulled back the covers and helped her slide under them. After tucking her in, he smiled lovingly. "You seriously made my whole life when you said yes, Jan."

She smiled, and tried to think of something to say. What were her instincts telling her? But by the time she opened her mouth, Michael had pecked her forehead and was already moving away, telling her, "Stay right here, I'll be right back," before running downstairs.

Jan slowly propped herself up on her elbows, feeling exhausted and a little achy, but no longer nauseous. She carefully sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed, going over to Michael's dresser. By pure familiarity, she pulled open the top drawer and pulled out a pair of his boxers and one of the tank tops she kept here, changing into them before crawling back into bed. She gently took out her earrings and laid them on the nightstand on her side of the bed, and as she reached to take down her hair, Michael came back into the room.

"What are you doing?"

Jan raised her eyebrows, hand paused in mid-air on its way to her messy bun. "I'm... getting ready for bed?"

"Oh. Well, can I take your hair down?" He was holding a tray with a glass of water and packet of crackers on it.

She furrowed her eyebrows. "Why?"

"Please, just... can I?" He set the tray down on his side of the bed.

"Um... sure," she consented, slowly... eyeing him warily while he came around to her side of the bed and reached into her nightstand.

He dug out a brush (her brush -- she'd been wondering where she'd left it) and went back to his side. He handed her the glass of water and the crackers and crawled into bed beside her, sidling close. Jan, after setting down the water and crackers on her nightstand, turned her back to him and turned just slightly over her shoulder to look at him. "Have you ever brushed a woman's hair before?"

"Well... sometimes I'd help my mom with her hair if she was going out someplace special. But... never my girlfriend."

Jan nodded and, after a moment, said, "...Okay," just because at times she had nothing better to follow up with.

She closed her eyes as Michael's hand disappeared into her hair, pulling out all the pins. Soon, she felt the curls cascading down her shoulders, and then he was slowly (gently) brushing her hair.

"So..." Michael's voice was deep, and very near her ear. He kissed the back of her head. "You feeling a little better now?"

"Mm-hmm." Especially with that brush gliding through her hair, making her scalp tingle. "I'm still really tired."

"Yeah, you said that in the car. You've been saying that for the past few days, actually." He sounded thoughtful. "Everything okay? You can tell me, you know."

Jan nodded. "I know." And she did. "And I think everything's fine. I don't know why I've been so tired lately. Maybe I'm coming down with something."

"Hmm. Well," he kissed the back of her head again while he set the brush down, and then wound his arms carefully around her waist (mindful of her stomach), "I hope it's nothing too serious."

Jan smiled and rubbed his hand as it rested over her abdomen. "I'm sure everything's fine. Things have just been... stressful lately."

"Oh. Okay. Well, then you need a full night's sleep, my dear. So let's get started on that."

She hummed a chuckle and leaned back against him just for a moment. "Sounds good to me."

They climbed under the covers again and met in the middle of the bed. Jan instinctively turned her back to Michael and he curled around her, wrapping an arm around her torso. "Love you," he murmured against the back of her neck while he gave her a kiss.

Jan closed her eyes and smiled, wanting to be able to give those words back to him. "G'night, Michael." Instead, she kissed his knuckles and pulled his arm more firmly around her, pressing it to the pillow and resting her cheek on it. She felt his smile against her neck just as she drifted off.


TBC


{x-posted to michaelandjan}
 
 
 
The Craziest Loser You'll Ever Meetsuperblossom on September 24th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
I loved how you gave flashbacks of Jan and Gould together. You really showed that she was hopeful and terrified at the same time. Not easy to write, but you pulled it off. Keep up the good work. :)
a.regalish on September 30th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
Ah, the Jan and Gould relationship. Y'know, I really wish the writers would've given us more info about that relationship, rather than just a couple of mentions by Jan or Michael.

*sigh*

Alas... that's what fanfiction's for! Glad you liked it :D
laurendee: Jan and Michael kissinglaurendee on February 9th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
This fic is awesome! I love so many details you described...how Michael carried Jan (so, so romantic!), how Jan wore Michael's boxers, how Michael combed Jan's hair...how they said good night to each other. This is my second reading of this fic in one day. =)