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02 October 2007 @ 10:25 am
All For Show [The Office; Michael/Jan]  
TITLE: All For Show
CHAPTER 3: Tricks Up His Sleeve
FANDOM: The Office
PAIRING: Michael/Jan
SPOILERS: "Performance Review" (including the deleted scenes) and the webisode
RATING: PG
SUMMARY:


*****

Jan fished her car keys out of her pocket as she headed for her little silver Nissan, schooling her features in case the cameras happened to be pointing out the window. After climbing in, starting the car and pulling out of the parking lot, she allowed herself to settle in and smile, in a daze as she drove instinctively toward Michael's condo, thinking about how far they had come.


*****

"Where are you?"

"I am... almost to the interstate."

"No! Don't get on!"

Jan almost laughed at the sheer urgency, the panic in his tone. "Why, Michael?"

"I'll be done here in twenty minutes. Can you meet me somewhere?"

"I'm not sure, Michael, I really should be getting back."

Softer, she heard his rebuttal. "I'd really like to take you to dinner, Jan. Please?"

She closed her eyes at the sound of his voice. The same voice he had used with her on the phone the other morning, spouting off that "I miss you" for the cameras. "Okay. Sure, Michael. Where would you like me to meet you?"

Following Michael's direction, she drove to an out-of-the-way Italian restaurant and requested a table for two, sipping at a glass of red wine as she waited for Michael. She saw him through the window, heading for the front door, and she couldn't control the way her heart skipped. If someone had told her even a week ago that someone like Michael Scott would make her heart flutter, she would've laughed in their face.

But it was that damn hotel room after Chili's -- finding out what a gentleman he was, and how very different he was from the person the documentary crew filmed every day. Michael was smart, which she never would have guessed; although she had to wonder how she had never suspected it -- he did manage to get the Regional Manager position, not to mention he'd been one of the company's top salesmen for years.

Michael had a gentle soul; he was sweet, sensitive. Nothing like her ex-husband, which would always put the odds in his favor. Michael listened to her, Michael liked her for who she was, whoever that happened to be on any given day, and Michael looked at her sometimes like she was his entire world. And they'd only kissed a few days ago.

When he came in the front door and she saw the way his eyes lit up when he spotted her, Jan felt an overwhelming rush of affection for him. She had to kiss him again. She had to. She smiled. "Hi. The camera guys with you?"

Michael's grin was just a bit mischievous. "Nope, they were following Dwight around last time I saw them."

"Ah. Good." So as he hung up his coat on the coat rack just outside their booth, he leaned down to her and she allowed herself to lean up to meet him, their lips catching in a soft kiss.

When he slid into the booth across the table from her, a fleeting thought hit Jan that he looked genuinely, almost insanely, happy. And it may very well have been because of her. "So..." she started.

Michael chuckled. "So." It was sweet, how slightly-awkward this was.

"Um, I'm sorry about earlier, at the elevator, if that was a little harsh--"

He shook his head and the corners of his lips downturned in an understanding frown; he waved off her apology. "It wasn't. Don't worry. It was a nice touch, actually." Then, he smirked. "That little outburst in the conference room though, in front of everyone? That might've been a little harsh."

Jan smiled sheepishly and opened her menu. "I'm sorry. I got kind of carried away." She shrugged and scanned her options on the menu. "But... I mean, it's a documentary. The crew could always... edit that out so it doesn't go to air."

She got silence in return, so she drew her eyes up to find Michael grinning at her over the lit candle separating them. He chuckled and tilted his head downward, shaking it slowly. He was suddenly very boyish. Jan would've really liked to have kissed him again. "Sure, they could cut it out. But don't think for a minute it's not going to end up in a deleted scene when it goes to DVD."

She smiled; then, something occurred to her. "Michael, you, um..." She leaned slightly across the table, her menu still open in front of her and her arms folded atop it as she asked him softly, "You didn't really call my ex, did you?"

"No," he chuckled. "What do you think I am, an idiot?"

Jan just smiled slowly and tilted her head at him, her smile turning to a grin and then a laugh when he rolled his eyes at her.

"Cute," he muttered, and covered her hand with his.

"I try."

He laughed at that. "Well you don't have to." His smile softened, as did his voice, as he met her eyes and told her, "You're cute all the time, Jan. Beautiful."

Jan felt her face grow warm, and she gently extracted her hand from beneath his. "Michael..."

"It's true. To me it is, anyway. To everyone else you're smokin' hot." He grinned.

Jan couldn't help but chuckle again. "Let's order, Michael."

"Sounds like a plan, Jan."

They shared a surprisingly pleasant meal together, and Jan left the restaurant (with Michael) even more astounded at how different he was from his on-camera persona. He was witty, steering clear of the dumb sexist jokes he normally told for the cameras. And, perhaps what had been most surprising, was that he was smart. She had an inkling he was the other night at the hotel, but now it was plain as day -- Michael was a lot more intelligent than he wanted people to believe. Something about that was intriguing to Jan. It drew her in. It was almost thrilling to come to the realization that Michael Scott had a few tricks up his sleeve. It almost made her wonder in what other areas he might surprise her -- but when she began to blush, she promptly had to stop that train of thought.

As soon as they were outside the restaurant, Michael looked around the parking lot and instinctively took her hand, lacing their fingers together. And Jan normally wasn't one for public displays of affection -- kisses, hugs, hand-holding, anything really -- but with Michael, it felt natural. It made her heart skip. When was the last time she'd felt like this about someone?

With Gould, it hadn't really been butterflies or affection -- it had been more of a sound, logical decision to date, and then get married. And then, inevitably, get divorced. Everything about her relationship with Gould had been stark cold logic. With Michael, everything was illogical. It was completely illogical for her to feel like a sixteen-year-old girl with a first boyfriend around Michael, and yet that was how she felt. And she liked it. She ultimately decided, as they started strolling toward her car with their fingers linked, that logic was highly overrated.

"You're sure you can't stay a little longer?" Michael was wearing his 'sad puppy' face as they reached her car, and Jan smiled up at him, leaning against the driver's side door.

She wasn't sure if it was the after-effects of the dim lighting and candlelight, or the pasta now sitting comfortably but heavily in her stomach, or the way Michael was looking so adoringly at her... but Jan couldn't control the slow-spreading lazy smile or the way she swayed just slightly toward him, suddenly groggy. She did want to stay longer. It was almost alarming to realize she was thinking this already, but... she kind of wanted to stay the night.

Still, she resisted, but smiled a little more when she swayed again and Michael's hands slid around her waist to steady her. "I'm sure. I have to give a presentation for the board tomorrow." She laid her hands on his upper arms and leaned against her car again, tugging him gently against her. "But remember I'm coming down sometime this weekend."

"We couldn't just catch a movie now?" Michael pouted at her.

She chuckled, and was helpless to resist leaning in to dust her lips across his. "Not tonight, Michael. Soon."

"Okay," he pouted, and kissed her again. "Fine, I see how it is."

Jan smiled against him and kissed him a bit more firmly, inhaling deeply through her nose when he leaned into her and deepened the kiss -- passionate, but still gentle. His hand came up to stroke her cheek and she almost felt a little faint. When was the last time she'd been treated this way?

Never was what she decided on. Never ever ever. She also decided it was a damn good idea to be strong and go home, because from the way Michael was kissing her goodnight, she had an inkling that he had a few tricks up his sleeve in the bedroom as well. The thought made her grip the lapels of his suit coat and return the kiss with fervor.

What could have been minutes or maybe hours later, Jan gently -- reluctantly -- broke from his lips, and smiled with eyes closed when he rested his forehead against hers. His hands were still on her waist and hers were still grasping his lapels. She met his eyes with their foreheads still touching. "I should go." But she really didn't want to. At all. What was wrong with her?

"I know," he murmured, in that thicker-than-honey baritone, and kissed her again.

The next time they broke away, Michael's arms were completely around her waist and Jan's had somehow wound around his neck. Again, their foreheads met. "Seriously Michael, I have to start driving home."

"Okay." But he just kissed her again.

This continued for several more minutes -- maybe another half hour, Jan wasn't sure anymore. All she knew was that in between them leaving the restaurant and her finally breaking away and climbing into her car, the sun had completely set.

And she also knew that by the time she actually reached her house in New York... she missed Michael.




TBC



{x-posted to michaelandjan}
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
a.: J; and eyes that burn like cigarettes;regalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! Well, who needs studying anyway? Really it just completely gets in the way of LJ.

Glad you're enjoying the cuteness! I'm pulling out all the stops in terms of M/J fluff, haha. I can't help it! They're too cute.

:D
Xtaline: jan initiation glarextaline on October 2nd, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
That's it!
I am officially addicted to this story.
Thanks a lot!
;)
a.: J; look for the girl withregalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! You are SO welcome! ;)

Seriously, thank you so much. I know you said you've drifted away from reading fic recently, so it means a lot that you'd take time to read this one :D

Chapter four is up & posted!
a.regalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Or no, that was fadsy that stopped reading fic for a bit. LOL! This flu is throwing me all out of wack :/
Xtaline: jan martinixtaline on October 3rd, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
That's okay. I was like 'Huh? I did?' but I wasn't going to mention it, lol.
lz1982lz1982 on October 2nd, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Aaaahh....so cute once again! I love the idea that Michael kind of "overacts" for the cameras--who knows, really, but it's a nice thought. Anyway. Too adorable. And pretty hot too. "Thicker-than-honey baritone." Hell yes.
a.: moi; can i break the spellregalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Haha, thank you so much! I always really wish that Michael overacts and that he's not THAT much of a dork... but alas. He is still Michael and I still love him, hehe.

Glad you're still enjoying this! Chapter four was posted this morning :D
xphilehbxphilehb on October 2nd, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
I really love this idea that Jan and Michael aren't really who they are for the camera. I can't wait to read more.
a.: M/J; this teenager's in loveregalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks! That idea has been nagging at me for quite awhile -- what if they're putting on a show? -- and it finally got to a point where I had to write it, hehehe :D

Chapter four has now been posted!
cello_vecello_ve on October 2nd, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Great chapter! I love the entire idea behind this, very original and well written. Can't wait to see where this goes. :)
a.: P; she was winsome;regalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was surprised by how inspiring this idea turned out to be.

Chapter four has been posted :)
mads: J: Are you staying with Michael?fadsy on October 2nd, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
"Sure, they could cut it out. But don't think for a minute it's not going to end up in a deleted scene when it goes to DVD."

Hahaha, you win.

Loved it. I haven't been interested in reading much fic lately but you've sort of sucked me back into it. I'm really enjoying this story. Yayyyy.
a.: M/J; she is everything i needregalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
HAHA. I could not resist throwing that in. That set of deleted scenes is so fantastic. I just wish they would've shown the take Melora said she and Steve did by the elevator where she kissed him again. Guh.

Anyway -- thanks so much, my dear! It means a lot that you'd stop to read my fic even though you've gotten away from it recently. (I'm kinda like that, too -- don't do a ton of reading anymore, just writing).

Chapter four is now up!
(Deleted comment)
a.: M/J; say goodbye it'll make meregalish on October 3rd, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
YAY! THANKS BABE! :D