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Like I said; I don't like Hospitals

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It was a quiet Saturday evening. You’d had a busy week and this was the way you had decided to relax.

“Why did I agree to this again?” You groaned, putting on your strappy heels.

“Because you love me. And because I think it’ll help you unwind.” Clara reminded you, handing you your purse.

“You mean because you wanted to go out, but didn’t want to go alone.” You corrected, taking your bag and sighing as you turned to the front door.

“You know me too well.” Clara came up behind you and kissed your neck softly.

You sighed and leaned into her.

“Come on.” She pulled away and opened the door, making you pout in annoyance.

“Fine.” You huffed, “But you know I’m not drinking.”

 

The nightclub is loud and the heavy air smells like sweat and cheap perfume. You extricate yourself from the web of writhing bodies, ignoring catcalls and wandering hands.

You sigh when you see there are no free tables, but your feet are killing you from dancing in four inch heels, so you pick the quietest one and walk over.

There’s a man sitting there by himself, nursing some sort of amber liquor.

“Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?” Your voice is slightly raised over the music.

The man looks up. “Oh, no – go ahead.”

You sit, and notice the man’s demeanour. He’s hunched over, and his eyes are glassy.

“Thanks, my feet were killing me. I’m Y/N.” You extend a hand and he takes it.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Misha.” He says, smiling half-heartedly.

You sit in silence for a few minutes, him staring intently into his glass and you at the dancefloor. You see your long-term girlfriend; Clara, grinding against some younger, prettier girl. You should probably feel something; anger, jealousy, but you don’t. You aren’t sure you even love her any more, but staying with her is comfortable; it’s safe, so you do.

 “Hey uh, Y/N, was it?” The stranger sitting across from you startles you from your daydream. You nod, turning back to him. “Can I borrow your phone for a few minutes? I left mine at home and I really gotta make a call.” His eyes are worried and genuine.

“Yeah sure,” You fish your phone from your purse and hand it to him. “Take as long as you need.”

He smiles thankfully before walking to the other side of the room where the music is quieter. Your attention is drawn back to the dancefloor; to Clara. She catches your eye from behind the same girl from before. Quickly, she averts her gaze and turns so she can’t see you anymore. You chuckle humourlessly to yourself and shake your head.

“Thanks.” Misha hands you your phone. When you look up at him he looks even worse than before, his eyes worried and scared.

“No problem.” You pause, smiling at him for a moment. “Hey, are you okay? You kinda look like you need someone to talk to.”

Misha looks away, seeming to ponder your offer before sitting back down across from you heavily.
“Yeah, you’re probably right, but I wouldn’t want to bore you with my problems.”

“Trust me, not much could be more boring than watching my girlfriend try to pick up chicks over there.” You chuckle. “Besides, I like listening to people.”

“Huh, sorry about your girlfriend.” He downs the rest of his drink before continuing. “At least let me buy you a drink.”

“Hmm, dunno if Clara would be too happy about some strange guy buying me a drink,” You smirk. “But since you’re offering, I’ll just have a lemonade; I’m not drinking tonight.”

Misha smiles, “Be right back.”

 

“So, what’s going on?” You ask after Misha comes back with your drinks.

He sighs, rubbing his hands across his face. “I was trying to distract you with drinks.” He smiles tightly. “But it’s probably good to talk to someone. I uh, I have a wife, Vicki – she’s called Vicki. We’ve been together for – oh – twenty six years now, two amazing, brilliant kids.” Misha stops, his eyes welling up. He coughs, “Sorry. I’m just…” He trails off, a tear slipping down his face.

“It’s okay.” You soothe, taking his hand in yours. “Did… Did she leave you?” You suggest carefully.

He shakes his head, “No, no I got a call, earlier, she uh, she got in an accident.” His voice cracks with emotion. “She’s in the hospital, in a coma.” He takes a deep breath, collecting himself. “Doctors say it doesn’t look good.”

“I’m so sorry.” You say, squeezing his hand.

He smiles at you sadly. “I haven’t even… It just happened so fast.” He frowns, his face falling again. “I haven’t even seen her. I…” He chokes on his words. “I don’t want to see her – not like this.” Misha takes a shaky breath and drops his head so you can’t see his face – now wet with tears.

There’s a moment of silence, before he looks up again, avoiding your gaze.

“I’m sorry, I’m being stupid. I only just met you,” He laughs slightly and sniffles. “I’ll let you get back to your night.”

“You’re not being stupid. You’re night has been far shittier than mine has; it’s the least I could do to just listen.” You smile, and realising you’re still holding his hand, retract it. “I’ll go if you want, but you seem like you could use a friend, and if you aren’t going to go to your wife… I’m here; take me or leave me.” You grin and he seems to relax a little more.

“I should go to her, shouldn’t I?” It isn’t really a question.

“Probably.” You nod, giving a sympathetic smile. You hesitate before adding, “Look, you’ve been drinking and… I have a car. Do you want a ride?”

“Are you sure? That’s a lot to ask…”

“Just as well you aren’t asking then.” You smirk and stand up, extending a hand to help him up in a gesture of friendship. He pauses, but accepts it, taking his coat and following you out of the nightclub.

 

The warm L.A air was refreshing compared to the thick smog of alcohol, sweat and noise inside. You had parked just across the street, and you lead Misha over to your old, blue mini.

“So, where we headed?” You ask, starting the engine.

 

It’s about half an hour away, so on the ride Misha tells you about his kids; West and Maison, and you learn he’s an actor. It’s mostly him talking as you’re concentrating on driving – but you’re happy to listen.

You pull up outside the hospital and turn off the ignition.

“We’re here.” You state. Misha’s gone suddenly very quiet.

“Yeah.” He says quietly. “Would it be too much to ask you to come in with me?” He stares out the window as he talks, avoiding looking at you.

“Sure, I’ll come in if that’s what you want.” You say gently.

“You’re sure? You don’t have to I just…”

“I’m sure.” You interrupt. “I want to do what I can to help.”

 

Inside Misha asks for directions to the room and he seems to have steeled himself again. You don’t like hospitals; the smell, the death. You and Misha make your way through the blue and white corridors, passing doors, behind each one a story.

Room 337. That’s hers. Misha stops walking outside and stares at the wood of the door. There are some chairs outside and you go to sit down but his voice stops you,

“Wait,” He looks torn, “Would you mind… Coming in with me?” He sighs at his vulnerability.

“Okay.” You say simply; you don’t want to, but it’s not enough to stop you helping Misha.

He doesn’t make a move to open the door though, so you take his hand again. He glances at you and smiles ever so slightly before opening the door.

The woman inside looks more machine than human. She’s hooked up to a plethora of tubes and wires, her skin pale and half covered by gauze. Misha doesn’t walk further than the doorway, his body tensing and his grip on your hand tightening.

After a pause of the initial shock he takes a step forward; it’s small but you’re not rushing him. You don’t look at his face in fear of what it might hold – you’ve been holding it together surprisingly well so far, but like you say – you don’t like hospitals.

After an excruciatingly long walk of tiny steps you reach the edge of the bed. Misha’s grip on your hand has turned vice-like as the two of you look down on the woman on the bed.

Misha lets go of your hand and crouches beside the bed, taking his wife’s hand in favour of yours; one of the few places free of bandages. You take a few steps back, trying to give them privacy. In doing so you catch sight of Misha’s face; wet with tears and wearing a look of pure fear and sorrow.

“Vick.” He croaks, dropping his forehead to rest on her hand. You feel your eyes well up now; you don’t know them, but there’s so much emotion in this room right now; it buzzes and crackles around the couple.

After a few minutes there are tears falling down your cheeks too.

“Misha?” You say in a hushed voice, stepping forward to place a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’m gonna wait in the car okay? Take as long as you want.”

He nods in response and you walk quietly out of the room and back through the eerily silent corridors to the street outside. You take a deep breathe, clearing your lungs of the stagnant air inside.

 

The ringtone of your phone startles you from your dream. You jolt awake, hitting your head on the car window.

Fuck,” You grumble as you reach for your phone on the dashboard.

You notice it’s only been half an hour since you got into your car, and yet you fell asleep.

“Hello?” You answer groggily.

“Y/N, where the fuck did you go?” Clara’s voice wakes you the rest of the way up.

“Oh, hey Clara. I took this guy to the hospital to see his wife.”

Okay? You couldn’t have called me?” She sighs, realising you’re okay.

“Sorry.” You mumble, peering outside to see Misha walking towards the car.

“You and your damn compassion.” She mutters. “Are you coming home tonight?” She says, softer now.

“I, um, I don’t know.” You say, unlocking the door for Misha. “Look, Clara I’ve gotta go.” You smile slightly at Misha as he gets into the passenger seat. “Yep, yeah, love you, bye.” You hang up and sigh, turning your attention to Misha.

“Hey.” You start carefully.

“Hey.” He replies, rubbing his eyes which have long since stopped crying.

“So. Home?”

“Oh, no, that’s too much to ask Y/N – you’ve done so much already. I couldn’t possibly ask you to take me home.” He says, eyes starting to close with tiredness.

You chuckle, “Come on, just give me the address before you fall asleep.”

 

Pulling up outside the house, you see that lights are on and there’s somebody inside.

You sigh, glancing at the sleeping man beside you before getting out the car and walking up to the door. You knock, hoping you’re at the right place.

A man who looks about Misha’s age, with a grey beard and a tired expression opens the door.

“Can I help you?”

“Uh, I hope so. Does is this Misha’s house?”

“Look lady, he’s going through some stuff, so if you’re some kind of fan can you just not?” He glares at you.

“Fan?” You ask, confused. “No, I just have him in my car – I drove him here, he’s asleep and I’m pretty sure I’m too tired to carry a grown man.” You sigh, starting to get sick of tonight.

“Oh, thank God.” The man straightens up a bit, his expression changing to one of apology. “Sorry, I thought you were… Never mind. I’ll come get him. Thanks for bringing him.”  

“No problem.” You mutter.

The man comes out, shutting the door behind him.

“I’m Darius by the way.” He offers you a hand to shake and you take it.

“Y/N.” You reply, before leading him to your car.

 Darius opens the passenger door and picks Misha up bridal style in one motion, making you huff out a laugh.

“You look like you’ve done that before.” You say, shutting the car door behind him as he staggers towards the house.

“More than I can remember.” Darius chuckles. “Hey would you mind getting the door?”
“Sure.” You open the door and follow the men inside, into the living room. Darius is still carrying his friend when you both see two small figures standing on the stairs, hiding behind the banister.

“West, Maison, go to bed.” Darius grunts, plopping Misha down onto a couch, who promptly throws up onto the floor. Darius takes a deep breath and pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Daddy?” The smaller of the children asks.

“He’s fine; you guys can see him in the morning.” Darius assures, before shouting, “Liza?” There’s a pause, “Liza? For God’s sake.” He mutters, glancing between the kids and Misha’s vomit.  

You sigh, “I’ll clean this up if you want.”
Darius looks at you as if you’re an angel. “You’re sure?” You nod. “Thank you so much, this day has been actual hell.” He laughs slightly manically. “Kitchen’s through there.” He points at a door before turning back to the kids. “Come on guys, bedtime.”

 

You clean up Misha and his mess on the floor, and cover him with a blanket. Darius still seems to be getting the kids to sleep, and it’s after two in the morning, so you decide to scribble your phone number on a post-it before quietly slipping out the door.

 

Clara grunts as you slide under the covers beside her.

Sorry.” You whisper, being more careful with your movements.

“Where have you been?” She whines, rolling over to look at you with a pout.

“I told you, I took this guy to see his wife in the hospital and then he fell asleep, threw up everywhere and now I’m here.” You mumble with your eyes closed.

“I missed you.” She whispers, wriggling closer to you.

Please Clara, I just want sleep.” You say, drawing out the vowels and rolling away from her, taking most of the sheets with you.

“Sheet hog.” She grumbles, yanking them back to her side; but you’re already asleep.

Chapter Text

You wake up to hear Clara’s muffled voice talking on the phone next door. You roll over and reach for your phone to check the time, only to find it’s not there. Groaning, you throw aside the sheets and stand up.

You pad through to the kitchen in your socks to find that Clara is using your phone. She offers you a small wave and a smile, pointing enthusiastically at some toast on the table.

For me?” You mouth incredulously, and she nods.

“Yeah, well it was good talking to you. Buh-bye.” Clara hands you back your phone.

“Who was that?” You ask through a mouthful of toast.

“Oh just Viktor. My phone’s out of charge I hope you don’t mind.” She does puppy eyes, and you roll your eyes.

“It’s fine.”

She grins and claps her hands together. “I made toast.”

“Yeah I noticed. What’s gotten into you?” You ask, in mock surprise.

“Hm, I dunno. I just feel really on today. Ya know?” She chirps, hopping round to peck you on the cheek.

“Not really.” You mumble.

“Grumpy boots.” She purrs. “Anyway, I gotta go.” You raise an eyebrow. “Meeting up with Sophia and the guys.” She explains.

“Kay. Have fun.”

She practically skips away and you hear the door slam. You sigh, wondering what to do on a Sunday, by yourself.

 

You opt for a quiet day of TV watching and tea drinking. You’ve just sat down when you hear what sounds like a knock at the door. You sigh and stand up reluctantly to see who it is.

You open the door to see Misha desperately trying to keep his kids quiet and usher them down the hall towards the elevator. He freezes when he sees you.

“Um, hi.”

“Hey,” You reply sceptically. “You look better than last night anyway.” You step out of your apartment only to trip over a basket of sorts. “Woah,” You exclaim, narrowly avoiding face-planting.

Sorry,” Misha winces, “Didn’t expect to cause this much chaos.” He chuckles.

“What’s this?” You ask, picking up the basket. You see now it has a small treasure trove of fruits and chocolates and what looks like preserves.

“I wanted to thank you for being so amazing yesterday.” Misha shuffles awkwardly where he’s standing. “I was in a hard place and you really helped me out.”

“You’re welcome, but I mean I don’t need some kind of repayment Misha,” You laugh, “I did it because you looked like you could use some help.”

Misha waves a hand in dismissal. “It’s the least I could do. Keep it, please.”

You shrug, “Well, thank you.” You step outside to pick it up, and as you do you hear a dreaded click.

Fu- uh –crap.” You cringe remembering the children present. “Sorry – locked myself out.” You say, kicking yourself mentally.

“Don’t worry about it,” Misha laughs. “Can you get back in?”

“Um,” You think, “Clara will be home in a few hours I guess…” You say doubtfully.

Misha nods, thinking for a moment. “Well if you’re looking for something to do, you could hang out with us? You know, if you want.” He adds bashfully.

“Sure, I’d love to.” You say before looking down at your feet. “Although I don’t have any shoes…”

“Ah,” Misha replies, “I should have some in the car you can borrow,” He glances out the window at the end of the hall, eyeing the rain, and a grin creeps onto his face. “Although I might have to carry you there.”

“Nuh uh mister.” You laugh, “I’m sure I’ll find another way.”

He shrugs, “Maybe.”

 

When you get down to the street you see the extent of the rain. There are a few inches of flooding just outside and a small river running beside the kerb.

West is wearing rain boots so he runs out into the street, giggling. Maison stays with her dad, pacifier in her mouth.

Misha smirks at you and raises an eyebrow.

You roll your eyes. “Were you actually offering to carry me? I’m fine to walk; I just might get your car a bit wet…”
“I’m stronger than I look.” He grins, “Piggy back?”

“Okay.” You shrug. Misha walks in front of you and offers his back. Careful to distribute your weight, you jump up onto him, wrapping your arms around his neck. He grabs your thighs and charges forward, making you squeal. He just laughs and keeps running around.

A small, impatient voice breaks you from your revelry. “Daddy.” Maison’s still on your front doorstep with her arms crossed, scowling.

“Oh right, sorry Mais.” Misha says, walking back over; you still on his back. “This… Could be tricky.” Misha chuckles. “Okay, I think the only way this is gonna work is if Maison, you get on Y/N’s back, and she gets on mine, okay everyone?”

You laugh, “Fine with me.”

Maison’s more reluctant at first, but after some coaxing and a little bribery, you have her small toddler hands wrapped around your neck.

“Can’t… Breath,” You croak, giving Misha a pleading look.

“Maison,” Misha laughs, “Stop trying to throttle Y/N. Come on,” He walks over to adjust her hands, “There! Is that better Y/N?”

“Much,” You gasp, appreciating the oxygen. Misha just chuckles.
“Okay, now on you get.” He offers his back again, and you climb on, trying even harder this time not to break his back.

“Everyone on?” He asks, surprisingly unaffected by the two people currently clutching to him for dear life.

“Yep,” You say, your concentration fully on not dropping Maison, and not falling off.

West is already getting impatient beside the car, making a moat from fallen leaves in a puddle.

Misha somehow opens a back door and manages to unhook Maison from around your neck, without dropping anyone in any puddles. He then drops you in the front seat and seatbelts his kids.

You notice how he seems to be doing significantly better than yesterday and can’t help but be slightly amazed.

 

He eventually buckles everyone in and flops down in the driver’s seat.

“So, where are we going?” You ask cheerfully.

Misha sighs, “I was planning on going to the park but…” He frowns, looking around at the rain. “Looks like that isn’t gonna happen.”

West suddenly speaks up, “Can we go see mommy?” He asks, sounding surprisingly cheerful - considering the situation.

You see Misha visibly tense. “Not right now Westie. How about we go get ice cream instead?”

“Okay.” West replies unenthusiastically, looking out the window.

“West! Don’t you like ice cream?” You ask incredulously, making a ridiculously shocked face.

West giggles a little. “Yeah.”

“Oh thank God, I thought I’d met the first ever person not to like ice cream for a second there!”

West grins at this, and you see Misha smile gratefully at you out of the corner of your eye.

“So what’s your favourite flavour?” You ask as Misha starts the engine.

 

You ordered chocolate ice cream. Despite the torrential rain outside, everything about Misha’s family seems so bright and sunny, ice cream kinda works.

“So we basically would have had to some weird ass orgies to get any further, and don’t get me wrong, we considered it – but…” Misha’s story is interrupted by your phone ringing.

It’s Clara. “Sorry, I should probably get this.” You say, smiling apologetically and standing up. You walk to the front door, away from all the hustle and bustle.

“Hey babe.” You say into the receiver.

“Y/N? Where are you?”

“Oh, that guy from yesterday – Misha – came by and I locked myself out of the apartment… Long story short; I’m out getting ice cream with him and his kids.”

“Um, okay, cool.” She says, slightly despondently.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, it’s just you seem to keep doing stuff without telling me, I wish you’d let me know.”

“I’m sorry; it’s not on purpose – these things just kinda… Happen.”

“Just tell me next time.”

“I will. Love you babe.”

“See you later.” She hangs up and you frown – she doesn’t normally care this much.

“Is everything okay?” Misha asks as you sit back down next to him.

“Yeah, fine.” You smile at him, but now you’re off in your own little world.

Is this what relationships are supposed to feel like? You wonder. Constantly wondering when you’ll get some alone time, or if she’ll run off with someone new – someone better. You have had more fun with Misha today than you have in months; maybe even years.

“Y/N?” Misha startles you from your thoughts and you realise you were staring at the rain, a frown on your face. The table seems to have gone silent.

“Hm? Oh, sorry I was just lost in my head there.” You smile at Misha, but he looks concerned.

He leans in close so the kids can’t hear and asks, “You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah,” You nod, “I’ll tell you another time.” You nod at West who’s now climbing onto the table – his foot in his sister’s ice cream bowl.

“West!” Misha yelps, “Get down from there! How do you even do these things?”

 

Misha drops you off a few hours later, and walks you up to your apartment, leaving the kids in the car.

“Listen, I know today was all fun and games, but really, I do appreciate what you did for me yesterday.” Misha says cordially.

“It was nothing, really.” You deflect. “Speaking of… You okay? How’s all… That going?” You ask, your concern written on your face.

“I’m coping.” Misha smiles sadly. “It isn’t easy.” He laughs, “Especially with those monsters.”

“Yeah,” You nod sympathetically. “I can imagine.” You chuckle. “If you even need anything – friend, babysitter, someone to talk to – I’m a phone call away.”

“I appreciate it. I should probably get back before they trash the car too much.”

“Yeah, that’s probably smart.” You give him a small wave, but he dismisses it and wraps you in a warm hug.

 

“Clara?” You shout, shutting the front door behind you; she leaves it unlocked, much to your protest. “I’m back.”

There’s no reply; strange.

You walk further into the apartment, and as you near the bedroom you hear faint crying.

“Clara?” You call, eyebrows tenting in concern.

You push open the door to your en-suite. Sitting, knees to her chest, on the floor is your sobbing girlfriend.

“Clara? What’s wrong?” You ask, moving closer. She just wails louder, her eyes screwed shut. Slowly she raises her hand as if to show you something.

All of a sudden you recognise what she’s holding – a pregnancy test.

“I’m pregnant Y/N.” She snivels.

Chapter Text

You stand there in shock for a few seconds.

“Are you sure?” You finally whisper, still frozen to the spot.

She nods, “I took two tests.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. You have to go see a doctor.”

“I know, I will.”

There’s another moment of tense silence before you speak up again.

“Clara, you do realise we’re gay right? Like – we’re both girls. I mean, I know what this means.” You say emotionlessly.

She sniffs, “I know. I’m so sorry Y/N. I didn’t mean to, he was just right there and I-“
“Shut up.” You cut her off, “Just, stop talking. I… I need to think.” You sigh and close your eyes – letting your weight be supported by the cold ceramic countertop. “Okay…” You start, “We’re going to the clinic, and we’ll… Take it from there.”
Clara stands up shakily. “Okay.” She says quietly.

 

Luckily the clinic has an opening the following day, following a lonely night’s sleep.

“Quit fidgeting, it’s annoying.” You say, hitting Clara softly on the thigh.

“I can’t!” She protests, “Waiting rooms make me nervous.”

You sigh impatiently and stare out the window.

A few minutes later a voice calls, “Miss Brown?”

Clara stands up and smiles at the woman – she’s middle aged, her hair pulled back into a too tight bun, a streak of red where her lips form a strict line.

“That’s me.” Clara says nervously, walking towards the woman.

“Through here please.” The woman replies.

Clara glances back at you. “Can’t you come in with me?” She whispers desperately.

“Nope.” You say, picking up a magazine.

“Ugh,” She groans, before following the woman out of sight. As soon as she’s gone you put the magazine down and let out a shaky breath – your head falling into your hands.

“Get it together Y/N.” You mutter.

A moment later your phone buzzes in your pocket.

Misha: Hey. You busy?

Y/N: Kinda depends… What’s up?

Misha: Oh it’s nothing really. Just wanted to call, but it’s fine if you’re busy.

Y/N: No, go ahead.

You stand up and walk outside the building away from the hubbub inside. Your phone lights up with Misha calling.

“Hey.” You answer.

“Hey Y/N. You okay? You sound a bit off,” He sounds concerned.

You sigh dramatically. “Well… Fine isn’t how I’d describe my mental state, no.”

“I’d ask what’s wrong, but I don’t really like doing this over the phone… Where are you?”

“Uh, I’m just…” You try to think of a lie, before giving up. “Well, I’m at a pregnancy clinic.” Misha stays silent. “It isn’t me, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Ah, good.” Misha exhales.

“But I agree; I don’t like doing this over the phone either. Can I meet you in half an hour?”

“Yeah sure – are you far from my house? Or I could pick you up if you want…”

“Your house in thirty. I’ll be there. Bye Mish.”

“See you then Y/N.”

You hang up and walk back inside. Just as you sit down, Clara comes out; looking like she’s going to throw up. Your heart falls at this; she’s pregnant.

Your suspicion is confirmed with a guilty look.

“I’m sorry.” She mouths, not walking any further.

Your face seems set in stone as you look at her, take a breath and stand.

“I’ve got somewhere to be.” You say coldly, brushing past her to the door.

“Y/N, please…” She says, her eyes filling with tears. You don’t stop walking.

 

“Hey, come in.” Misha greets you,

“Hey Misha.” You reply, walking past him to the living room. “Well I’m certainly glad you’re conscious this time.” You joke, taking a seat on the couch.

Misha laughs. “Yeah, I do tend to be a better host when I’m awake. Can I get you anything to drink? Tea, coffee…?”

“I’d love a coffee if you don’t mind.”

Misha nods, “Coming right up.” He says, disappearing through to the kitchen, leaving you alone with your thoughts for the first time properly since you found your girlfriend crying on the bathroom floor.

Your girlfriend for fuck’s sake. For the second time that day you rest your head in your hands; letting the fact Clara cheated on you sink in. You always knew it was a possibility, but now she’s gone and actually fucking done it.

You feel a tear slip down your cheek. “God damn it.” You mutter, wiping it away.

“One coffee, voila- woah,” Misha interrupts himself, putting the coffee down and sitting next to you. “What’s wrong?” He asks, staring at you with genuine concern in his eyes.

You sniff and smile, trying to collect yourself. “It’s nothing; it’s just my stupid fucking girlfriend…” You say, laughing humourlessly. “She cheated on me and got pregnant.”

Oh shit,” Misha says, raising his eyebrows. “I’m sorry, that sucks.”

You shake your head. “It’s fine, really, I was thinking about ending it anyway.” You say, before adding quietly, “I guess this just makes things more complicated.”

“Is she… Keeping it?” Misha asks hesitantly.

You shrug, “Probably – very religious family.” Misha nods slowly. “Where are your kids?” You ask, suddenly, changing the subject.

“Oh, they’re at school.” He hesitates before adding, “They liked you, you know.”

You smile, “I like them too.” After a moment of silence you ask, “And how’s… You know…?”

“You can say her name Y/N,” Misha chuckles, before growing solemn. “Vicki’s still in a coma. Doctors say it’s looking better than it did at first – all we can do is hope, I guess, and that’s what kills me.” He smiles tightly. “Not being able to do anything – just watch her, it makes me feel so useless.” Misha looks so hurt, so you gently put your arms around him.

“I’m meant to be helping you Goddamn it!” You murmur into his shoulder. “I shouldn’t have come here with my problems. I’m sorry.”

Misha breaks away from the embrace abruptly, and you frown at his confused, almost angry, expression. “I’m not your responsibility Y/N.” He says.

“I know,” You say sheepishly. “It’s just you’re going through so much more than me I feel…”
“Yeah, and there are people that have it worse than me – that doesn’t make either of our unhappiness invalid.”
You look away, embarrassed. “Yeah, okay.”

Misha sighs, “Sorry, I just get… Annoyed at some things. Let’s talk about something else – if you don’t mind.”

“Sure.” You smile, “Did you say you’re an actor? Been in anything I’ve heard of?”

 

You end up spending several hours watching TV with Misha.

“I’m-I’m sorry,” You laugh, gasping for breath. “It’s just, why did he shoot him?” You double over laughing again, falling into Misha’s lap.

Okay, so you’re not a fan of Stonehenge Apocalypse then.” He chuckles, shoving you off him to change the DVD.

“Wait, wait.” You stop him, “I have to at least see how it ends.” You plead.

Misha glances at his watch. “Not that I’d show you anyway, but the kids’ll be home soon and they aren’t allowed to watch anything scary like this.”

Scary?” You raise an incredulous eyebrow. “Sorry, sorry.” You giggle, before sighing. “I should probably get going then – find someone to stay with tonight.”

“What?! Why are you leaving?” Misha flops back onto the couch, waiting for your reply.

“I just don’t want to impose or anything.” You explain shyly.

“You’re not imposing! I’d love it, and I’m sure the kids would too, if you stayed for dinner, at least?”

“I guess I could spare the time, maybe…” You smirk playfully and Misha breaks into a grin.

“Good.”

You both hear the door opening and Misha stands up. In a moment you can make out the pitter-patter of children’s feet running through the house, and you smile inwardly.

“Hey guys!” Misha greets, picking Maison up and dangling her by her feet, which definitely triggers some sort of mom instinct in you; but Maison’s laughing her head off and screaming for more.

“Hi Y/N,” West says shyly, noticing you first.

“Hey West! How was school?” You ask enthusiastically.

“Good.” He says,

“Yeah? What’d you learn?” You ask, patting the couch beside you.

 

After dinner, Misha puts the kids to bed, after reading them a story – which is a sight to behold. It turns out he knows an atlas worth of accents, each performed as chosen by one of the kids. It was very amusing.

“Well, you’ve certainly seen me embarrass myself a lot in the short time we’ve known each other.” Misha laughs from the couch beside you.

“Yeah, I’m sure you’ll see me embarrass myself plenty in time.” You reply, laughing along with him.

You glance at the time; it’s after eleven. You sigh, “I really should get going.” You say reluctantly.

“Y’know I do have a spare room,” Misha says, “If you want, you’re welcome to use it.”

“Actually that would be great. I think I’m already wine-drunk.” You chuckle, swirling the dregs of your Pinot Noir at Misha.

“Okay, great. I’ll just go make the bed.” Misha stands, heading to the stairs.

 

Misha shows you to the room; it’s nice. It has a large window across from the bed, and all the décor seems to go, if in a somewhat haphazard way.

“Thank you so much for this Misha.” You say, turning to him.

“It’s my pleasure.” He smiles at you,

“I mean it though – this is probably the most fun I’ve had in months. Thank you.” You wrap your arms around him to make your point.

“I’ll see you in the morning Y/N.” He says when you pull away from the embrace. “Sleep well.” He kisses your cheek and leaves, shutting the door behind him.

You slip into your underwear and get under the covers, deciding to send a quick text to Clara telling her you aren’t coming home tonight, and turn off the bedside lamp; quickly drifting into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

You wake up to children screaming; followed by some very loud shushing from Misha.

You smile remembering where you are. Yawning, you get out of bed and, seeing a robe hanging on the door, pad over to put it on.

“No West, she’s sleeping...” You hear Misha whisper from the other side of the door. “Yes, alright Maison, just coming.” You hear him start to walk away. “Wait! West, no, you can’t go in there!” The door knob starts to turn before Misha apparently stops it. “Have you guys really learned to plot against me?!” He whines.

You can’t help but laugh, and open the door. You now see Misha has picked West up, and slung him over his shoulder.

“Good morning guys.” You say, stifling a yawn.

“Oh, morning Y/N.” Misha replies with a lopsided grin. “We didn’t wake you up did we?”

“Yeah, but it’s not a bad way to wake up.” You close the door behind you and walk out into the hallway.

 

You eat breakfast with the Collins’ before deciding to go back to your apartment, at least to pick up clean underwear.

The door is unlocked; Clara’s home. You turn the doorknob, being as quiet as humanly possible – it’s still early so she should still be asleep. The door barely makes a sound as you close it behind you, tiptoeing into the still-dark hallway.

You make it almost all the way to the bedroom. Almost.

“You can’t avoid me forever, Y/N.” Clara’s soft voice sounds loud in the silence. You turn to the living room and see her standing there; her arms folded, though not menacingly.

“I know.” You say, quietly but coldly.

“We have to at least talk,” She says, doubt in her eyes.

You think for a moment then nod. “Then let’s talk.” You walk into the living room taking a seat on the familiar couch. “Whose is it?” You ask quietly; not sure if you really want to know the answer.

“Viktor.” She whispers, dropping her head.

“Okay,” You begin, “I assume you’re keeping it?”

She nods. “He wants to help out, but I said I didn’t know where you stand.”

You raise an eyebrow. “Where I stand? Oh no Clara, I’m having no part in this. This is your fault and your problem.”

Her eyes well up and she sniffs. “But don’t you still love me?”

You feel your eyes start to go glassy to mirror hers. “No, Clara.” You say softly, sadly. “I’m sorry, but you know that. You and I both know this was over a long time ago.”

A tear falls down her cheek but she nods. “Yeah, I guess it was.”

“I should get going, Misha’s waiting outside.” You say after a moment of silence.

“Well, you moved on quickly, didn’t you?” She says, spitefully. “You know, I gave that guy the benefit of the doubt – I told him where you lived, but you just go and run off with him?” She’s almost shouting now.

“Fuck off Clara, you don’t know him, you don’t know me. It’s nothing like that, and even if it was, you’re one to talk.” You spit, before walking through to the bedroom to get your things.

Things can turn in a split second with her.

Clara follows you. “Oh sure, I’m sure it’s totally platonic. Did you stay with him last night?” She asks, but there’s a hint of doubt in her voice now.

“You know what Clara?” You spin and face her. “I’m glad you went and got yourself knocked up. I’m so done with your bullshit. Misha’s wife is in the hospital, and he’s been nothing but wonderful to me, with my stupid little problems. How dare you talk about him like that?” You shout, before picking up your things and brushing past her.

“Y/N,” She whispers. “Y/N, I’m sorry,” She says, louder this time. “Y/N, please…” You slam the front door behind you, almost crashing into Misha – who’s waiting right outside.

Woah there,” He says, catching you as you start to trip over him.

“Oh, hey Mish.” You say, avoiding looking at his eyes. “I thought you were waiting in the car.”

“I was, but you were taking a while, so I came up, and then there was shouting?” He raises a concerned eyebrow.

“Oh, right – yeah.” You extricate yourself from his grip and briskly walk towards the elevator.

“Wait… Are you okay?” Misha’s having to jog to keep up with you.

“I’m fine.” You say coldly, pressing the button on the elevator.

“Really? ‘Cause it doesn’t seem like it,” Misha laughs desperately, following you into the elevator.

You press the Ground Floor button continuously until the doors close, before turning to a worried Misha.

Suddenly you break, “What am I gonna do Mish? I have nowhere to stay – I lived with her for years, what am I even supposed to do with myself?” You feel like you’re going to pass out, so you clutch onto the handrail.

“Hey, hey.” Misha starts, “Calm down, it’s gonna be okay. Okay?” He looks into your eyes, and it’s comforting; grounding. “Come on, breathe with me.”

You nod, continuing to stare into his beautiful azure eyes. “Okay.” You whisper.

“Look, you can stay with me as long as you need, we’ll figure this out, okay?”
“Okay.” You repeat. “Thank you.” The two of you are still staring at you – his hand resting on your arm, when the elevator dings and startles you both. You jump away from his grasp, avoiding eye contact, and Misha clears his throat. The couple waiting outside looks at you very judgementally as you shuffle awkwardly out of the doors, but Misha just smiles sheepishly.

 

The drive back is unusually quiet until Misha breaks the silence.

“I heard what you said back there – about me. Thank you.”

“What?” You ask, confused.

“Back at your apartment – you stood up for me. I appreciated it.” He reiterates.

“Oh.” You say, remembering. “Don’t worry about it.”

There’s another silence before you speak, “What did she mean she told you where I live?” You ask curiously.

“Oh, I wanted to thank you properly for… You know.” He trails off. “So I called you, but she picked up. We decided to surprise you.”

“Huh.” You say simply.

 

You do decide to stay at Misha’s house – at least tonight, you tell yourself.

It’s after midnight, the kids are in bed, and you and Misha decided to watch some movies.

“I still think it’s ridiculous you’ve never seen Alien.” You whisper.

“It’s scary!” He protests.

Right at that moment there’s a jump-scare and you feel Misha jolt beside you. You can’t help but let out a quiet laugh.

“You’re mean.” He chuckles, pouting comically.

You roll your eyes and stick out your tongue. “You’re a baby.” You tease.

You both look back at the TV and there’s yet another scary bit. Misha yelps and clings to your arm, burying his head in your shoulder.

You burst out laughing, petting his hair.

“You are such a baby!” You giggle, him still attached to you.

You feel him shake with laughter, “Can’t we watch something else?” He groans.

You sigh, “Fine, but you’re changing it – I’m comfy.”

He gets up, but you notice he’s avoiding looking at the screen. You chuckle to yourself as he hurriedly changes it to some crap TV programme.

He flops back down beside you.

“Happy?” You ask, raising your eyebrows.

“Very.” He grins at you. You roll your eyes and rest your head on his shoulder, yawning.

“Sleepy.” You murmur.

“How can you sleep after that?” Misha whispers incredulously.   

You just hum in reply, already drifting off.

After a few minutes Misha looks down at your sleeping face and sighs contentedly. He turns off the TV and carefully removes your head from his shoulder, trying not to wake you. He hooks one arm under your knees, and the other behind your shoulders before carrying – bridal style – upstairs to the guest room. He tucks you in and takes a step back – watching your sleeping form for a few moments, turning off the light and walking to his own room – a smile on his face.  

Chapter Text

It’s been a few days since you started staying with Misha, but you had yet to get any of the stuff from your old apartment. Truth be told; you were a little scared to go back, since you knew Clara would be there.

“Well, I have officially run out of clean underwear.” You mutter, closing your rucksack with a sigh.

There’s a knock at your door and Misha pokes his head in. “Hey, we were gonna go get groceries – you want anything?”

“Uh, not in particular, but do you mind if I tag along?”

“Glad to have you. We’re leaving in ten.” He grins before retreating from your room and shouting for the kids. You change out of your pajamas and put on a little makeup to go out.

 

“Maison! Put those back; we do not need tampons.” Misha chuckles, making the four year old huff and cross her arms. “They somehow always get at least one thing past the checkout.” He tells you. “Even though it’s usually something of no use whatsoever to anyone.”

“Yeah, they sure do seem like a handful.” You laugh, “A fun handful though.”

Misha rolls his eyes, “You don’t have them twenty-four hours a- West, get down from there!” Misha darts forward just as West is about to fall into a giant box of teddy bears.

You chuckle and take charge of the shopping cart.

 

Outside the store, Misha has finally managed to get everyone in the car and seat belted.

“Daddy can we go to the park?” Maison asks from the backseat.

Misha sighs. “I don’t know guys…” He turns to you, “What do you think Y/N?”

You shrug, “It’d probably use up some of their energy.”

Misha raises an eyebrow, “Sounds like YN’s saying yes,” He tells the kids, who grin. “You coming with us?” He asks.

“I actually had some errands to run if that’s okay.”

“Oh I see,” Misha rolls his eyes. “You just said yes to dump them with me!” He accuses, before adding, “Yes of course it’s okay. Do you need a lift anywhere?”
“Nah I think I’ll just walk – it’s a nice day.” You reply.

“Okay. See you back at home?” He asks, making your heart pick up speed at his use of ‘home’.

“Yep. Have fun you guys.” You grin and get out of the car.

 

Your errands consisted of picking up most of your stuff from your old apartment, seeing as you knew Clara would be at work today, as well as starting to look for a new place to live.

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long at all to find a place which seemed perfect; it was a single bedroom apartment, in your price range, close to your work.

Even more surprisingly, the landlord asked to meet with you today.

Luckily you’d dressed semi-presentably this morning, so you decided to just go for it. After all, it’d be a weight off your chest to not be mooching off Misha anymore.

 

It turned out the landlord was going on a year-long world tour at the weekend, so needed to sort out the apartment before she left. It was a pretty basic interview, and you left feeling pretty sure you’d get the place.

“Misha?” You call, opening the front door. He’d given you a spare key yesterday – just in case. “I’m back.”

There’s silence before Misha comes rushing through – covered in flour – grinning and out of breath.

“We were baking.” He explains, panting slightly.

Right. Of course.” You say in slight disbelief. You shake your head, “Anyway, I was wondering if I could cook tonight,” You hold up the grocery bags you stopped off to get on the way home. “You’ve done so much for me, and I wanted to start saying thank you.”

Misha smiles softly and walks towards you. “Sure, you can cook. Although you know this is all my pleasure. Quite literally, I like having you here.” You blush and he takes the grocery bags from you. “I’ll put these in the kitchen – you probably don’t want to go in there – it’s pretty messy.”

“I can imagine.” You laugh.

He turns away and starts walking away, before stopping suddenly. “Oh! I just remembered – I invited my friend Darius round tonight, do you mind cooking for one more?”

“No problem.”

 

You’re cooking when you get the text.

Place is all yours! After the paperwork, you can pick up the key as your earliest convenience.

You grin and breathe a sigh of relief, before being interrupted by a knock at the door. You leave your carbonara to go answer it since Misha’s upstairs showering the flour off.

“Hey Darius.” You greet him.

“Hey! Y/N, right?” He asks, following you inside.

“Yeah. Misha’s just coming; he got a bit floury this afternoon.” You giggle.

Darius nods. “It’s not the first time. Oh, I brought some wine.” He adds, holding up a bottle of red.

“Oh cool, just put it… Somewhere...” You shrug. “I’d better get back to cooking; it isn’t my forte without distractions.”

“Do you mind if I keep you company?” He asks, following you to the kitchen.

“Sure, as long as you don’t get in the way.” You wink. “So,” You start, “How did you and Misha become friends?” You ask casually.

“Oh we met back in middle school.” He says, taking a seat on a stool. “He was chubby and didn’t have any friends, so naturally we bonded over that.”

“Ah, okay.” You laugh. “Can’t really imagine a twelve your old, chubby Misha to be honest.” You say, stirring the white sauce.

At that moment you both hear Misha’s voice shout through, “Was that someone at the door?” He walks into the kitchen wearing only a towel around his waist. “Oh hey Dar.” He says, grinning.

“I dunno, I think it’s pretty easy to imagine chubby, twelve year old Misha – after all, not much has changed.” Darius jokes, and you giggle, hiding your blush by dropping your head.

“Darius you’d better not be telling all my embarrassing stories!” Misha laughs,

“Oh yeah, Misha breast fed ‘till he was six.” Darius tells you, making you burst out laughing.

“Oh come on,” Misha chuckles, “I can’t leave you alone with anyone.

 

“Mmmph,” Misha groans, now fully dressed. “Y/N, this is amazing.

You blush, “Thank you. It isn’t the best thing I’ve ever cooked, but I was distracted.” You chuckle, remembering the distraction mostly being embarrassing stories about Misha.

“You should definitely cook more often. Especially if you’re gonna be staying here for a while.” Misha says, taking another bite of carbonara.

“Actually…” You start, suddenly feeling nervous about telling him about your new place. You clear your throat, pulling yourself together. “I, uh, I found a place, today; to stay.”

The table seems to go quiet, and Misha lowers his fork. “Oh.” He says, putting his fork down. “When are you moving in?”

Suddenly the atmosphere seems to have changed, and you feel somewhat unwelcome. “Well… The landlord said I could move in as soon as possible, so probably sometime this week.” You say apprehensively.

“Okay then. Congratulations.” He says, though it sounds hollow and disingenuous.

You notice Darius giving his friend a curious look, before deciding to stare at your food.

 

The night went back to being fun and light-hearted after a while, though it still felt a little off.

Darius left a few hours ago; taking the kids with him to give Misha a break, and you and Misha are currently a little tipsy - sitting on the couch talking.

“You know earlier when I said the kids always manage to get something through the checkout without me noticing?” Misha asks. You nod. “This time, I come home to find a box of condoms.” Misha doubles over with laughter, falling across your lap. It wasn’t even that funny, but you find yourself laughing too.

“It’s not even that funny.” You say between laughs.

Misha sits back up, but he’s considerably closer to you than he was before. “Yeah? Why did you laugh then?” He asks breathily.

“Because…” You say, your face centimetres from his. “You’re cute when you’re laughing.”

“Yeah?” He asks, glancing at your lips.

“Yeah.” You breathe.

You close your eyes and suddenly there are soft lips pressing at yours. You don’t pull away, but you don’t move either. After an excruciatingly long time of your mind going fuzzy, you finally pull away, inhaling sharply.

“Misha…” You say unsteadily.

“Shit,” He says, his eyes going wide. “I shouldn’t have done that. Shit, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, I just… I think I should go.” You say, getting up clumsily.

“Um, okay, if that’s what you want.” Misha says, his eyes worried.

“Yeah… Yeah I think I should leave.” You say, making your way to the door.

As you’re leaving, you see Misha put his head in his hands, and hear him mutter, “Fuck.

 

Once you’re outside the cold air clears your head. You pull out your phone with shaky hands, deciding to text your sister.

Hey, I know it’s late, but is there any chance I could crash at yours tonight?

You take a deep breath and start walking away from Misha’s house.

He kissed me. You think. He kissed me. He’s married. Am I a homewrecker? Fuck.

Your sister replies in less than five minutes,

Of course! Are u okay?

Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll explain when I get there x

You sigh; relieved you’ll have someone to talk to.

 

“Jesus fucking Christ.” Beth says after you’ve told her everything. “So… Do you like him?”

Your eyes go wide and you flush, “What does that matter? He’s married!”

She shrugs, “I think it matters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to do anything stupid, but… It’s complicated. Who knows, maybe you could work something out. I just don’t think you should ruin this any more than he already has, okay? Don’t go making any rash decisions.”

You nod, “Good idea. It’s too late to do anything tonight anyway, I’m going to bed.”

“Okay, I probably won’t see you in the morning; I’ve gotta get up early for work. Let me know what happens okay?”
“I will, thanks for everything.” You say, standing to hug her.

“Night Y/N.”

 

In the morning it’s decided; you have to try to talk to Misha before you decide anything. That’s why you’re on the way to his house. It’s only about half an hour’s walk away, but you’ve already taken over an hour because you’re dreading the talk.

Finally you get to his front door. You knock because you left your key here.

There’s no answer, but you notice the lights are on. After knocking a second time with no reply, you decide to try the door; it’s unlocked.

You frown – that’s unusual. Walking inside, you notice nothing out of the ordinary – no one’s washed up the dishes from last night, but that’s reasonable.

“Misha?” You call; there’s no reply. “Misha?” Louder this time, but there’s still no reply. You’re worried now, as you walk up the stairs to his bedroom.

You knock, but again, there’s no reply. Cautiously you come in – but the room is empty.

Suddenly you hear a voice,

“Misha?” A man is shouting from downstairs. You walk towards the sound.

“Darius?” You ask – he’s standing in the living room, looking just as confused as you.

“Hey Y/N, is Misha here?” He asks, as West and Maison run in behind him.

“I don’t think so – I only just got here, but there’s no sign.” You say, frowning.

“Guys, go back to the car.” Darius says to the kids, who obediently walk off. “Did you say you only just got here?” He asks, and you nod. “I thought you were living with Misha?”

“Um,” You start uncomfortably, “I was staying at my sister’s place last night.”

Darius nods, apparently not wanting to interfere. “And Misha didn’t say anything about going anywhere?”

You shake your head, “No, I have no idea where he could be.”

“I’ll try calling him.” Darius says, getting his phone out.

The phone rings out, so Darius leaves a worried voicemail asking where the hell he’s gone.

Darius sighs, putting his phone down on the coffee table. “I’m gonna check around the place, see if I can find him. You stay here in case he comes back.”
“Okay.” You say, taking a seat on the couch.

Just after Darius leaves you notice he left his phone. You stand and pick it up, turning to go after him, when the screen lights up. It’s a text from Misha saying one word:

Vicki

Chapter Text

“Fuck,” You mutter, before yelling, “Darius! Darius he texted you – it’s… It’s Vicki.”

Darius practically runs back through the door, “He texted?”

You nod, “Yeah, it just says ‘Vicki’.” You give him back his phone and he cusses under his breath.

“Uh, okay…” He says, trying to figure out what to do. “Okay, let’s uh, let’s go to the hospital – I guess.”

“What about West and Maison?” You ask, grabbing your purse.

Shit, you’re right – I’ll drop them off at mine on the way.”

“There’s somebody there?” You ask, following him to his car.

“Yeah, my wife – Liza.” He replies, getting into the driver’s seat. “Hey guys,” He turns to the kids, “It looks like you’re staying with Auntie Liz just a little longer, okay?”

“Okay. Where’s dad?” West asks, frowning.

“He just had to go to work for a little bit – you can see him soon.”

 

After dropping the kids off, Darius makes record time getting to the hospital.

“Fuck, shitting fuck.” Darius mutters, getting out of the car. “I wish he’d learn to text in sentences, man. God, I just hope Vicki’s okay. I’ve known her as long as he has.”

You stay quiet as the two of you rush through the front doors.

“Crap, do you think they’ll even give us the room number?” Darius says, slowing his pace.

“337.” You say, grabbing his arm and leading the way.

He looks at you with impressed surprise and follows you.

 

“Just around here.” You say as you approach the corner.

“337.” Darius says, out of breath from running. He immediately charges forward and opens the door – entering into a room full of solemn-faced nurses and a Doctor all turning to face the intruder. Lying on the bed is a deathly-white Vicki – her eyes are closed and all the tubes have been removed, leaving a frail and hollow looking shell.

Out! Get out!” A short woman with a thick Russian accent ushers Darius back out of the room, closing the door behind him. His face has drained of all colour.

“Darius? What happened?” You ask carefully, afraid to hear the answer. Darius walks backward away from the door, his hand covering his mouth. His back hits the wall; his legs seem to buckle and he slides to the ground.

“Oh God,” He says, staring vacantly at the door. “Oh God.

Your heart sinks. “Darius,” You start, taking a step towards him.

“Just, please.” He holds up a hand, stopping you. “I just… I need a minute.”

You nod, before asking, “What about Misha?”

Darius drops his head into his hands. “We’ll… We’ll find him. Start looking.”

 

You look everywhere you think he might be, leaving multiple voicemails before returning to the house.

You flop tiredly down onto the couch. “Fuck.”

At that moment you hear the door open, and an unfamiliar voice talking.

“Come on Misha, we’re almost there, come on.” He coaxes. You stand, walking cautiously to the front door.

“Oh, hey there.” A man, supporting a mostly passed out Misha says, frowning. “Who are you?”

You ignore him, instead rushing to Misha. He’s a mess, and his breath reeks of alcohol.

“Oh thank God you found him.” You say, helping support his weight.

“What the hell happened? And who are you?” The man asks, extracting himself from Misha.

“I’m Y/N, and you are?”

“I’m Jensen, I’m a friend. Now will you tell me why the hell I found Misha knee deep in booze before midday?”

“It’s uh, it’s his wife – Vicki.”

Jensen frowns, “What about Vicki?”

You shift uncomfortably. “Did you know she was in an accident?”

“What!? No, is she okay?”

You sigh. “No, I’m sorry, she… She passed away a few hours ago.”

Jensen’s eyes go wide. “What?” He whispers. “You’re serious?”

You nod solemnly. “Yeah… Yeah, we’ve been looking for Misha ever since.”

“Oh my God, I… I don’t know what to say.” Jensen says.

“I think first of all we should deal with him.” You say, gesturing at Misha, hanging precariously off Jensen’s arm.

“Yeah, yeah okay. I’ll help get him upstairs.”

As you’re walking to Misha’s bedroom, you remember to ask, “You don’t happen to have Misha’s friend Darius’ number do you? He’ll be worried sick.”

“Oh, yeah sure, I’ll call him.” Jensen grunts in reply, concentrating on getting Misha safely up the stairs.

“So, how exactly did you find him?” You ask curiously.

“He called me, and sounded pretty out of it. I was in the area so I found him pretty quick.” Jensen replies, hauling Misha through his bedroom door.

Misha slumps onto the bed, face-first.

“Listen,” Jensen says apprehensively. “I’ve kinda got somewhere I need to be… Have you got this?”

“Yeah,” You sigh, “Yeah, me and Darius can handle it. Thanks for bringing him.” You smile sadly at Jensen.

“Yeah, no problem. Tell him to give me a call if he needs… Anything. Man, I wish I could do more.” Jensen says, shoving his hands in his pockets in frustration.

“You and me both.”

 

“Y/N?” Darius yells from downstairs.

“Shh,” You hush from the top of the stairs. “He’s sleeping.”

“Where the hell was he?” Darius asks, relieved.

“His friend Jensen found him in a bar. He’s pretty smashed.”

“Fuck. It’s not like him to drink like this.” Darius says, coming up the stairs.

“Well, unfortunately it’s not exactly a usual circumstance.” You say sadly.

Darius nods, rubbing his hand over his face. “It sure ain’t.”

 

Darius goes home to help with West and Maison at around seven, leaving you to deal with Misha when he wakes up. You eat leftover carbonara, but it makes you painfully miss yesterday, when nothing was wrong and your biggest problem was moving out.

At eleven, you go to bed – making sure to find some Aspirin and water for Misha – placing it on his bedside table.

You’re almost asleep when you hear your door creak open, and you see a sliver of light from the hallway flood in. Misha’s figure appears – his hair sticking up in every direction and his clothes crumpled.

“Misha?” You whisper, squinting at his silhouette.

“Hey.” He replies; his voice sounds low and wrecked from either drinking, or crying. Probably both.

“Hey,” You reply softly, treading lightly. “Do you need something?”

Misha stays silent in the doorway for a beat, before swallowing thickly. “Will you keep me company?” He asks, his vulnerability showing in his words.

“Yeah, of course.” You reply, sitting up. “In here, or…?”

Misha says nothing, instead closing the door behind him as he walks into the room. He sits on the edge of the bed, staring at his lap.

“Do you mind if I turn on the light?” You ask cautiously.

“Sure.” He says emotionlessly.

The bedside lamp illuminates Misha’s features, and you see his eyes are red and puffy – his two-day stubble casting a dark shadow across his face.

“Misha.” You whisper comfortingly, sitting up to put an arm around him. He leans into your hold, resting his head on your shoulder.

After a time you feel him start to shudder, his tears falling freely again. You hold him tighter to you, and he takes a deep breath. “Huh,” He says unsteadily. “I didn’t think it was possible to cry anymore.” He swallows thickly.

“Hey,” You soothe. “It’s okay – you’re gonna be okay.” Your eyes prick with tears at the sight of him; so wrecked. “Come on, try and get some sleep, okay?” You lay back down slowly, him still nestled flush into your side.

He grunts in reply, his grasp on you tightening.

“It’s okay, I’m not going anywhere.” You murmur, pulling the covers over him. “It’s okay.” You repeat – as if saying it will make it true.

“It’s not okay.” Misha replies coldly, before falling asleep – still clutching you. A tear slips down your face at his words; no – it isn’t okay.  

 

You wake to find Misha even more entangled with you than he was before; his legs wrapped around yours and his head buried in your neck.

You groan; not wanting to wake him, but not particularly wanting him to wake up in your arms. Carefully, you start to wriggle out of his limbs.

He grunts, and you freeze. All at once he throws off the covers, rolling away to throw up off the edge of the bed. You wince, taking a calming breath before shuffling forward to rub his back soothingly. Misha’s still retching, so you get out of the bed,

“Come on Mish, think you can make it to the bathroom?” You ask, taking his arm. He nods and allows you to usher him along the hall to his en-suite; where he promptly dry-heaves into the toilet.

“I’m gonna go clean up the bedroom.” You say, quickly retreating before he makes you vomit too.

 

After you’ve cleaned up Misha’s mess, you go downstairs and make toast – deciding it’s relatively hangover-friendly.

“Morning.” Misha says, swaying slightly at the kitchen door.

“Hi. Reckon you can stomach some toast?” You ask, offering the plate. Misha shakes his head and moves to the kettle instead.

“Tea.” He says simply. You put down his plate of toast and stand, unsure of what to do. “Where are the kids?” He asks while the kettle’s boiling.

“Darius is taking care of them.” You reply. He nods and the room goes back to tense silence.

 After he’s drunk most of his tea Misha takes a deep breath, “Look Y/N, you know you don’t have to stay here right? You don’t have to look after me or whatever – I’ll cope.”

You shake your head. “No Misha – I’m staying. I’m helping. To start with – you need a shower mister.” You would guess he hasn’t showered for at least three days, and all the stress-sweat, tears and vomit don’t make for an appealing house-mate. “Come on.” You say, pulling him up by his arm.

He mumbles a, “I’m fine.” In protest, but doesn’t struggle.

You haul him upstairs and leave him to get undressed. Once you hear the shower running you come in and pick up his clothes to wash them.

As you’re about to leave, the muffled sound of Misha crying stops you. It breaks your heart to see him so hopeless, and to feel so helpless. You sigh and leave the room, deciding that, again, there’s nothing you can really do.

 

A half hour later Misha comes downstairs wrapped in a blanket and apparently nothing else. You raise an eyebrow.

“You took my clothes.” He mumbles, sitting down on the couch across from you.

“Don’t you have other clothes?”

He just shrugs, picking up his phone. You watch him with a sad curiousness for a while.

You both jump when his phone rings. He answers it. “Hello? No, not right now thanks.” He hangs up.

“Who was it?” You ask.

He shrugs again. “Lawyer.” He replies simply.

 

You take the next few days off work because you can afford it, and because Misha needs you more. It kills you to see him every day getting less and less animated – it seems as if he’s losing his soul; his passion. His heart is burning out.

You’re sitting at the dinner table, poking at your food, when you ask, “Do you think you’re ready to see the kids yet? They miss you.”

Misha seems to tense. “I don’t know.”

You sigh, “Look, I understand this is hard for you – but it is for them too Mish, they lost their mother, and right now – it seems like they lost their dad too.” You had gone to see West and Maison a few times since they started staying with Darius, and each time it broke your heart when they asked about their parents.

“Soon.” You told them, time after time. “You’ll see daddy soon.”

Misha’s face looks pained, “I know, okay Y/N? I know, and I feel terrible. But I don’t see how seeing their dad – broken – is going to help anything.” With that Misha stands, puts his dishes in the sink and walks away to another part of the house – leaving you alone.

 

That afternoon you decide to call your sister – she’s been a trained counsellor for a few years now, and you think- you hope she might be able to talk to Misha.

“Hey Beth, how’s it hangin’?” You ask casually.

“Y/N? Why didn’t you call sooner? You said you’d tell me how it went with that guy… Misha, was it?”

“Um, yeah, well it kinda got complicated.” She stays silent, waiting for you to explain. You sigh, “I left your place to go talk to him – but I couldn’t find him anywhere. When I finally did… His wife, she’d passed away. I’ve been helping him around the house ever since.” You explain.

“Shit Y/N, that sucks – I’m sorry. How are you coping?”

Me? I’m… Coping.” You laugh humourlessly.

“You sure? You know I can tell when you’re lying.”

“Yeah Beth, I know. But I didn’t call for me. I was hoping you could talk to Misha. In a professional sense.”

She exhales slowly. “I’m pretty busy right now, but… I could probably find the time. Actually, would tonight work?”

“Yeah, totally. Thank you so much – I’ll text you the address since I doubt Misha’s really up for going out.”
“Sure thing. See you soon Y/N.” She chuckles.

“See ya.” You hang up. Now all you have to do is convince Misha to talk to her.

 

“Misha?” You knock on the guest door lightly. He sleeps in there most nights because “his sheets smell like Vicki.”

“Yeah.” He replies.

You open the door, coming in to find him in bed, on his laptop with all the curtains drawn. He has about a half-inch of stubble. “My, uh, my sister’s coming over later if that’s okay. I thought you might want to talk to her - since she’s a trained counsellor.” You say carefully.

Misha looks up at you scathingly. “I’ll say hello.” He says; his words thick with sarcasm.

You sigh, “Please? Just give it a go, for me?” You plead, coming over to sit on the edge of the bed.

He avoids your eye contact. “Fine. But I’m not promising anything.”

You smile brightly. “Good. You want anything?”

He shakes his head, so you stand up to leave, but before you reach the door he stops you. “Wait. Will you… Keep me company?” He asks, almost reluctantly.

A weight seems to lift off your shoulders – this is the first time he’s wanted human interaction since his wife died. “Of course.” You say, coming back over to sit next to him in bed. “What are you watching?”

“Cat videos.” He replies, turning the screen to show you. Your heart soars at the tiny smile forming on his lips as he watches them, and you start to think this may be the start of something new, something good.

Chapter Text

“Hey guys!” Misha exclaims, grinning and running over to swoop the kids up in his arms.
“Daddy!” They squeal, giggling.

You and Darius stand at the door, watching. It’s the happiest you’ve seen any of them since Vicki passed away.

“Told you it was a good idea.” You smirk at Darius.

He shrugs, “Yeah, I guess I shoulda trusted you.” He teases.

You smile and fold your arms, returning to observing the happy family before you.

Beth had really helped Misha come out of his own little depressive bubble and just talk to you a little more.

A small frown graces your lips. “When’s he gonna tell them?” You ask quietly.

Darius clears his throat and shifts beside you. “I don’t know. To be honest I’d rather not be there for that part.”

You nod, “Yeah, you and me both – but I think at least one of them is gonna need someone. I’ll stay.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. It’s not like I have anywhere else to go anyway.”

“You turn down that apartment you had your eye on then?”

You shrug, “Misha needed someone.”

Darius squeezes your shoulder, a thankful smile on his lips before he turns to leave. You and him have become good friends since you started helping Misha out – since he can’t be there all the time he often has to rely on you to be there for his best friend.

 

You tried to at least move to another room, but Misha pleaded with a look – and no one can resist his puppy eyes.

“Hey guys? I need to talk to you about something serious for a sec okay?” He says, lifting West onto his lap.

The kids go quiet.

“It’s-uh –it’s about your mom.” Misha begins, taking a deep breath.

 

Once it’s over, there’s a lot of crying and hugging and you can’t help but feel like somewhat of an intruder.

That is, until Maison crawls over to your couch, curling up on your lap and clinging to you. “Hey Mais.” You say, stroking her back.

You don’t really know what to say, so you just sit, embracing her and trying to protect her against something so un-protectable.

You drop your head to her hair, and she smells like baby and it breaks your heart that she’s in so much pain.

You catch Misha’s eye – who’s in much the same position with West – and share a helpless look, frowning as a tear slips down your cheek.

There’s a knock at the door. “Maison I’m gonna give you back to your dad okay?” You say, standing to hand her over – but she clings to you like a limpet. You give Misha a helpless look and adjust Maison so you’re carrying her.

Standing at the door are two men,

“Jensen?” You ask,

“Oh, hey – Y/N was it? Is Misha here?” He asks, clearly surprised at your presence.

“Yeah but… It’s kinda a bad time,” You say hesitantly, nodding to Maison in your arms.

“Okay, can we come back later?” The taller man says.

Maison’s started to wriggle, so you let her down to run back to Misha. “Uh, maybe?” You say, unsure. “He uh, he just told the kids about Vicki.” You say quietly once Maison’s out of earshot.

The men’s faces seem to dawn in understanding. “Ohh,” Jensen mouths. “Well can you tell him to at least give us a call when he’s feeling up to it?”

“Yeah of course.” You say, smiling slightly. “Oh, and who do I tell him you are?” You ask the taller man.

“I’m Jared.” He says, extending a hand for you to shake.

“Nice to meet you Jared. Sorry Misha couldn’t see you it’s just… You know.”

“No, we understand.” Jared says, smiling sympathetically. “Not to pry, but are you staying with him or…?” He adds hesitantly.

“Oh, yeah I’m kinda living here at the moment.  Just helping out, ya know.”

“Ahh.” The men nod and share a look. “Oh! Almost forgot – we brought some stuff for West and Maison…” Jensen hands you a bag, “…And can you tell Misha that Bob and the rest of the guys say he can take as long as he needs?”

“Bob?” You ask curiously.

“Oh we work with Misha on the show.” Jensen explains, a little cockily.

“Which… Show?” You ask hesitantly, making Jensen’s cocky attitude falter.

“Supernatural, he hasn’t told you about it?” He asks in confusion.

“He hasn’t really had a chance… Sorry?” You say, chuckling. “Anyway, Jensen, it was nice to see you – I’ll tell Misha. Jared it was nice to meet you. I’d better get back.”

 

 “Hey Mish, that was uh, Jared and Jensen?” You say, dropping the bag of candy and toys onto the couch. The kids have disappeared upstairs.

“Oh okay,” He replies, sniffing and wiping the tears from his eyes. “What did they want?”
“I think they just came to see how you’re doing, but they brought some stuff for the kids.” You hand him the bag. “Oh, and they said to tell you that Bob says you can take all the time you need. I assume you know what that means?”

“Oh great; hyperactive kids.” He mutters, looking into the bag. “I guess it’s better than sad ones. Uh, yeah I know what that means – thanks for telling me.” He smiles up at you.

“Okay, cool. I think I’m gonna go to the store – what do you want for dinner?”

He looks at you in thought for a moment. “You know, I think I might make homemade pizza with the kids. You’re welcome to join in – let’s all go get the ingredients.” He says with a soft smile.

You smile back, but on the inside you’re positively elated – Misha wants to leave the house.

 

On the way you send a text to Darius,

I really was right.

Along with a photo of Misha grinning with West on his shoulders.

 

Back home Misha sets out all the ingredients and before he calls the kids downstairs he turns to you.

“Hey Y/N,” He begins softly. “I uh, I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and for West and Maison. I… I really couldn’t have handled it without you.” He says sheepishly. “Thank you.” He steps forward to place a kiss on your cheek, but you grab him, pulling him into a tight embrace – making him huff out a laugh.

“I’m just glad you’re getting back to… You.”  You say into his shoulder, not relinquishing your hold on him.

“So am I.” He says quietly, holding onto you with equal passion.

“We should make dinner.” You say, without letting go.

“We should.” Misha replies, also not letting go. “In a minute or two.” He laughs into your shoulder.

Come on.” You say, finally pulling away. Misha pouts in protest. “Pizza!” You whine, taking Misha’s hand and pulling him towards the grocery bags full of ingredients. “West, Maison! Come help make pizza!” You shout.

When you start unpacking the ingredients, Misha still doesn’t let go of your hand, so you’re forced to do a strange, three handed job of putting them out on the table.

Soon you hear the kids run through, looking slightly more energized, and less crushed than earlier.

“Pizza?” West asks, running forward to inspect the various toppings.

“Yeah Westie, we decided to have a treat tonight. And there may or may not be chocolate cake for pudding.” Misha replies, letting go of your hand to help Maison onto a chair.

“Yummy.” West says, already grabbing handfuls of mozzarella. Misha smiles at you softly, the both of you relieved at their happiness.

 

You groan, “So full.” From your slouched seat on the couch.    

Misha chuckles from beside you. “Weakling. You’re just not used to our pizza feasts. We’ll need to have them more often.”

You hum in reply, leaving a comfortable silence before Misha sighs. “We should probably put them to bed.” He gestures at the passed-out kids on the couch. “They’ve had a hard day.”
You nod. “I’ll take the smaller one.” Reluctantly you stand and walk over to pick Maison up. She wraps her arms around your neck and you carry her up to the kids’ shared room.

You tuck her into bed, and whisper “Goodnight Maison.”

“G’night mommy.” She murmurs, making you jolt back, retreating to the door. Your throat constricts and you think you might start crying.

“No, Mais.” You whisper sadly, though she can’t hear you.

“You okay?” Misha asks quietly, coming up beside you and making you jump slightly.

“Mm? Yeah I’m fine.” You whisper back, quickly walking out the door.

“Hey, wait,” Misha says, closing the door behind him as he follows you. “What’s wrong?” He comes up behind you and places a firm hand on your shoulder.

“It’s just… Maison, she said – she said “Goodnight mommy” and… And I’m not…” You start to tear up, avoiding Misha’s gaze.

“Hey,” Misha soothes. “Is that all? Come here.” He wraps his arms around you and you relax into his hold, letting out a shaky breath.

“Sorry Misha.” You whisper, “It’s just… It’s a lot.”

“I know. I know. But you’ve been doing so well Y/N. It’s alright.” He says in a hushed voice, letting you cry in his arms. “Come on; let’s go to bed, okay?” He says, pulling away a little.

You nod and let him lead you to the guest room. He strips his shirt and gets under the covers, waiting for you to follow suit. It’s common recently for him to sleep in your bed. However you stay still, standing by the door.

Misha tilts his head, “What’s wrong?”

You hesitate, biting your lip. You had been dreading this conversation – but right now seems like as good a time as any. “Misha… The night… The night I stayed at my sisters’,”

“Ah.” Misha interrupts you, rubbing a hand over his face.

“I just want to know…” You say apologetically.

Misha nods, “Yeah, I understand. Um… Why don’t you sit down,” He pats the bed next to him and you sit, looking at him expectantly. “That night… I was feeling emotional about everything – we’d had a lot of wine and you were just… There. You’d become a part of my life – an important part – so fast I just…” He trails off, his eyes dropping to stare at his lap. Suddenly he adds quietly, “Don’t get me wrong - that isn’t to say there wasn’t some sort of meaning there. I… I did mean it and I don’t regret it.” He rushes in a low voice.

Your heart picks up speed, going over what he just said in your head. “So… You…” Your head seems to be going fuzzy, “You mean… You…”

“Yes. Obviously Y/N.” He interrupts.

Right.” You nod slowly, your brain still not ready to form full sentences.

“Please say something.” Misha says after an agonizing silence.

“Um, I um…” You mumble, before taking a deep breath. “So you… Then. And… Now? You’re sure?” You ask incoherently.

“I think so… I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking.” Misha says. “Look… Don’t say anything if you don’t want. We can… We can pretend this never happened!” He says; his eyebrows furrowed in worry. “Please don’t hate me for this.”

“No, I don’t want that.” You say, frowning. “I just… I need to know this isn’t… Circumstantial.” You say carefully.

“You mean because of Vicki?” Misha asks bluntly. You nod. “I was afraid of that too, at first. But I’ve thought about it, and that’s really all I can do. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now.” He sighs, “Will you please come to bed? We can ignore it, or we can talk tomorrow just… Do something.” He pleads.

You stay unmoving for a moment longer before putting him out of his misery. You turn to look him in the eyes – his beautiful, hopeful eyes – and lean forward to press your lips to his.

His breath hitches in surprise before he remembers to move – his hands finding your waist.

The kiss is slow and gentle and seems to be full of all the emotions built up in the short time you’ve known Misha.

Only when your lungs are screaming for air do you break away. Panting, you laugh in disbelief against his lips; your forehead resting against his. He grins back, closing his eyes.

“Daddy?” A small voice makes you jump away from Misha, clearing your throat.

“What is it West?” Misha asks, his voice showing his annoyance at being interrupted.

West opens the door and walks in, crawling onto the bed. “I can’t sleep. Can I sleep here tonight?”

Misha looks at you in question. “Of course you can Westie.” You say, patting the bed between you and Misha. West tumbles between you and under the covers – wriggling into your side and kicking Misha in the process.

Ow.” He grumbles, turning on his side when you stick your tongue out at him. You turn off the bedside light, but you don’t go to sleep – instead you just stare at the dark ceiling thinking over the past few days, your head swimming in shock and happiness.  

Chapter Text

You wake up the next morning and groan at the ache in your side from where West’s arms have buried under your ribs.

You open your eyes to meet a pair of dark brown ones, staring at you.

“Good morning West.” You chuckle.

He giggles, “Y/N help wake daddy up!” He says, turning over to poke Misha, who just grunts and shoves him away.

You smile fondly and roll over. “Come on Mish! Don’t you want breakfast?” You ask, poking him gently on his side.

“Not you too Y/N!” He groans, letting out a low chuckle.

“West why don’t you go wake your sister and I’ll wake your dad up okay?”

“Okay, but you won’t be able to.” West says, clambering off the bed and running out the door.

“Bet you I will!” You call after him.

Misha rolls over to face you, but he’s closer than he anticipated, so now his body is pressed up against yours.

“Bet I will get you up. In fact it feels like I already have.” You purr, wriggling your crotch into Misha’s.

He raises an eyebrow but doesn’t say anything – instead leaning in for a sleepy kiss. You kiss him back before pulling away and rolling out of bed, making Misha groan in protest.

Come back.” He whines, rolling after you, but staying in bed.

“Come make me.” You tease, wandering across the room.

He growls and gets to his feet, diving after you. He braces his hands on either side of you; pinning you to the wall. It makes your heart hammer in your chest.

“You think I won’t?” He says in a low voice, his lips at your ear. It sends a shiver up your spine, but you shake it off.

“West I won the bet!” You shout past him, giving Misha a challenging smirk.

He raises an eyebrow and steps away from you just as West comes running in.

Misha sighs comically. “She did! She got me out of bed.” He says, walking over to the dresser to pull a shirt on.

 

You make pancakes because it’s the weekend, and an old tradition of yours.

“So,” You say once you’ve finished. “What are we doing today?”

“Mm,” Misha starts through a mouthful of pancake. “I thought we could go visit Jared and Jensen’s families – I haven’t had a chance to talk to them properly.”

“Am I invited?” You ask, raising an eyebrow.

Misha smirks, “I don’t know – you were a bad girl this morning.” He winks, making you blush.

You clear your throat. “Where abouts are they staying?” You ask, returning to safe conversation.

Misha shrugs, “I think they’re at a condo on the edge of the city.” He says, standing to clean up the dishes. “West, Maison, you guys wanna do that? You’ll see Tom, Shepard and JJ. Oh, and I almost forgot, Arrow, Zeplin and uh, Odette.”

“Yeah! JJ!” Maison exclaims, grinning.

“West buddy, you cool with that?” Misha asks, putting the plates in the dishwasher.

“Yeah!” West replies, dipping his pancake in his orange juice, which makes you cringe a little.

 

“Okay guys, we’re here.” Misha says as he pulls up to a lavish building on the seafront.

“Fancy.” You say, peering around.

Misha chuckles, “I know right.” He opens the car door and gets out, putting on his shades. “Come on guys,” Hey says, unbuckling the kids. “Now remember – best behaviour, got it?”

“Uh-huh!” West giggles, wriggling free from his seatbelt and jumping out of the car.

Misha rolls his eyes. “Well that sounded sincere.” He mutters to you before breaking out in a grin.

You smile back, closing Maison’s door as she runs off after her brother.

“They don’t even know where they’re going.” Misha chuckles, watching the kids chase each other around the street. “Come on guys,” He shouts, catching their attention.

 

“Hey Mish,” Jensen greets, opening the front door and enveloping Misha in a hug.

Misha pats his back. “Hey man.”  

“How you doing?” Jensen asks seriously, giving him a concerned look.

“Better than I was, thanks.” Misha replies, glancing at you.

“Good to see you Y/N.” Jensen turns to greet you just as Jared and a pretty brunette appear behind him.

“Hey Misha,” She says, wrapping her arms around him. “And you must be Y/N, I’m Gen.” She says, extending her hand for you to shake.

“It’s nice to meet you.” You say, taking her hand.

Once all the introductions are over and you’ve met Gen, Daneel, Thomas, Shepard, JJ and Odette – Jensen brings you and Misha through to meet the other new additions.

“That’s Arrow, and that’s Zep.” He says; a loving smile on his face.

Hello,” Misha coos, bending down to get a better look at Arrow. “You have your dad’s scowl.” He chuckles, turning to grin up at Jensen.

Arrow is lying complacently, frowning at Misha, and Zeppelin appears to be asleep.

Misha hums in thought, “It’s times like these I miss having babies.” He mutters.

“Trust me, you won’t miss it in five minutes when they’re crying their eyes out with poopy diapers,” Jensen scoffs. “Will he Zep?” He coos.

You giggle, bending down next to Misha. “They’re beautiful Jensen.”

Arrow looks at you and grabs at your hair with his tiny baby fingers, making you feel the calm maternity Misha must have felt a moment ago.

You glance beside you at Misha, who’s staring at you fondly.

The moment doesn’t last long, as Zeppelin starts wailing.

“Aaaand there it is.” Jensen chuckles, walking over to pick him up.

 

The comically large group decides to go for a walk down the beach – which entails one buggy, one double-buggy, what seems like seven diaper bags and several coats for the kids.

“Are they bringing the whole baby store?” You whisper to Misha. You and him have been standing, waiting, at the door for a good half hour now.

Misha chuckles. “You’d think.”

“Okay!” Jensen suddenly exclaims. “Everyone good to go?”

Everyone seems to nod, until Misha interjects, “I think Maison needs her other coat actually…” Everyone groans and seems to deflate. “Kidding! I’m kidding, let’s go.” He laughs, opening the front door.

 

The men end up walking together, and you get stuck with Gen, Daneel and the strollers – not that you mind – they’re lovely people, but with constant baby-stops every five minutes, you’re a little jealous of Misha.

“So.” Gen says, putting Odette back in her stroller. “What’s going on with you and Misha?”

Yeah” Daneel adds. “Are you guys just friends or…”

You chuckle. “I have to say, your husbands were a little more subtle when they asked.”

“Yeah, and they didn’t find anything out.” Gen mutters.

“We don’t mean to pry, we’re just curious.” Daneel adds with a smile.

Plus, we’re very protective of Misha.” Gen corrects bluntly.

“Oh,” You say, surprised. “Well you have nothing to worry about, I mean…” You falter, trying to decide whether to tell the truth. “Okay.” You sigh. “It was totally platonic right up until…”

I knew it!” Daneel squeals. “Sorry. Go on.”

“As I was saying, we were just friends until the night before Vicki passed away.” You frown. “That night he kissed me, so naturally I freaked out a little bit – you know, he’s married and all that – and so I left to stay at my sister’s place. But the next morning Misha had disappeared. I now know why.”

The other two nod sympathetically.

“And then, obviously nothing happened – the guy’s wife had just died, but then… He told me he did have feelings for me, and I made sure the best I could that I wasn’t just some sort of… I don’t know – morbid rebound. But that didn’t seem to be the case, so…” You shrug. “I guess we’re just being careful.”

“Wow.” Gen says. “Well, just to be clear, we like you – I just had to be sure; for Misha’s sake.”

“I understand. It’s been a rough couple weeks for him.”

“I’ll say.” Daneel adds, before getting side-tracked by one of the twins coughing.

“And how are you doing?” Gen asks quietly, staring at you intensely, but with concern.

“Me?” You ask, surprised.

“Yeah – from what I hear you’ve been Misha’s rock twenty-four/seven ever since. How are you doing?”

“Yeah, it’s been tough I guess – but I can’t complain, despite everything Misha’s always been… Thoughtful.” You say, a small smile forming on your lips.

“Yeah, that definitely sounds like him.” She replies, chuckling. “You okay back there Dani?” She turns back to Daneel, leaving you to gaze fondly at Misha, laughing and smiling with Jared and Jensen up ahead.

 

“Daneel that was delicious.” You say, leaning back.

“Oh it was nothing.” She says with a shy smile.

“Babe, I’m telling you, you should become some kind of professional chef.” Jensen says, kissing his wife.

“Well thank you darling.” She giggles, “I’d better check on the twins.” She stands and walks to the other room.

“Yeah, we’d better get going actually.” Jared sighs, “Now that we’ve got this little one.” He smiles down at Odette sleeping in Gen’s arms.

“Mm.” Misha hums.

“I guess if you’re going we should go. Seeing as we’ve got this little one.” You poke Misha gently, who seems to be dozing off in the chair beside you. “Right West?” You ask the boy sitting on your lap.

He giggles, “Yeah, come on daddy!” West starts poking Misha significantly more violently than you had.

“West,” You chuckle, restraining him. “He’s probably tired because you kept kicking him last night.” He looks up at you with a cheeky grin. “Yeah, I could feel that too.” You accuse, laughing.

“Sorry.” West says, jumping down from your lap. You see Jared give Gen a curious look, but she just waves him away.

“Seriously Mish, you gotta get up to drive us home.” You say, and he opens his eyes, yawning.

“Can’t you just let a man sleep?” He groans, standing up.

“Sorry,” You chuckle.

 

“Westie are you going to go back to your own bed tonight?” Misha asks on the car ride home.

“Yes daddy.” He replies tiredly.

“Good. Maybe I’ll get some actual sleep tonight.” He mutters and turns to you, “Or maybe not.” He smirks.

Pfft.” You hit him gently on the arm and murmur. “Child.”

 

Misha puts the kids to bed, leaving you to take a shower. You’re relaxing under the warm water when there’s a knock at the door.

“Yeah?” You call, reluctantly turning off the water.

“Do you mind if I come in and brush my teeth?” Misha calls softly.

“Uhh,” You stall, stepping out of the shower and grabbing a towel. “Sure.” You cover yourself just as he walks in.

“Oh, sorry – I didn’t mean to… I can come back later.” Misha says hesitantly.

“No it’s fine – I’m done showering anyway.” You lie, smiling.

“Okay then.” He says, walking over to the sink. “Oh, I meant to tell you – my brother and his wife Claire are coming to stay tomorrow.”

“Okay.” You reply, sitting on the edge of the bath. “Any particular reason?”

Misha clears his throat. “It’s um, Vicki’s funeral on Monday.” He mumbles around his toothbrush.

“Ah.” You say quietly. “About that… Do you want me to be there, or not? Either’s fine I just...”

“Please come.” Misha says, making eye contact through the mirror.

“Okay.” You say simply, before standing and walking behind him. “Today was nice.” You murmur, resting your chin on his shoulder.

“Yeah, we should do that more often. Gen and Daneel didn’t interrogate you too much did they?” He chuckles.

You shake your head. “Just a little. I have to admit though; the babies were pretty cute.”

Misha smiles a little. “Yeah, they were.” He pauses, “You ever think about those?”

“Babies?”

Misha shrugs. “Yeah.” He says sheepishly.

You shake your head, “I dunno. With Clara it never really seemed like an option you know?”

Misha nods, seeming to drop the subject. He turns to face you, wrapping his arms around your waist with a small smile. “Hey.” He says gently.

“Hey.” You reply, before leaning in to kiss him.

It’s gentle at first, but soon Misha is pushing you against the sink, his mouth making trails of wet kisses down your neck.

Mish,” You groan, pushing him away gently when you feel his arousal.

“Mm?” He murmurs, slowing his movements.

“It’s late… And the door isn’t locked.”

“You know we can fix one of those things very easily.” He chuckles against your neck.

Suddenly the sound of the doorknob turning rattles through the room.

“You sure about that?” You giggle, giving him a sympathetic smile.

Misha groans and drops his head to your shoulder. “Seriously?” He growls. “They have the worst timing.”

Chapter Text

It’s strange, how quickly you’ve gotten used to waking up next to small, squirming bodies.

“Maison, do you wanna come down to have some breakfast?” You hear Misha whisper.

“I’m gonna wait here ‘till Y/N…” She mumbles.

“You’re gonna wait here until when?”

“Y/N wakes up.”

“Oh I don’t think Y/N’s ever gonna wake up.” Misha replies, making you giggle.

You do decide to stay in bed a little longer than usual that morning, because Misha seems to be dealing with the kids and it’s been a while since you’ve relaxed.

 

When you get out of bed, you go downstairs and find Misha desperately trying to stop West breaking some vases with a spoon.

You lean against the doorframe, quietly observing the scene.

“West, those are glass; don’t hit them with a wooden stick – do not hit them with a wooden stick…”
You jump forward just in time to catch the vase before it hits the floor.

“Morning Y/N, we were just talking about the criminal justice system and how that correlates with cereal.” Misha smiles.

“Naturally.” You reply, putting the vase back on the table.

“You want any breakfast?”

“Mm,” You hum, wandering over and folding your arms to rest on Misha’s shoulders. “I’m good. I think I’m gonna head to the store, pick up a few things for dinner.”

“Okay, would you mind picking up my suit from Jensen on the way?”

“Why does Jensen have your suit?” You ask incredulously.

Misha waves you off, “Long story.”

 

You make Misha’s old room up for Sasha and Claire.

The next morning you wake up to a cold, drizzly Monday. You dress in a long, black dress with black heels, putting your hair up into a messy bun.

The car journey to the burial site is solemn and quiet. In a way it’s unfortunate that the kids are old enough to understand the depth and significance of something like this.

Misha pulls up along-side a long procession of cars, and the four of you get out – you carrying Maison and West on Misha’s shoulders.

You follow Misha over to the casket; your rain-damp hair sticking to your face. Maison is grabbing your shoulder so tightly it hurts; pacifier in her mouth, her big, blue eyes wide and frightened.

Halfway through the service, it’s Misha’s turn to speak. He stands from the white plastic chairs, pulling a piece of paper – the words on which are already getting smudged by the rain - out of his jacket pocket as he makes his way to the front.

He unfolds it with shaky hands; his hot breath steaming in the cool air.

After a moment of collecting himself, he looks up from the words on the page, taking a deep breath. “As you all know, Vicki Vantoch was an amazing woman. She was, beautiful, intelligent, funny, ingenious and crazy, and that doesn’t even begin to sum her up. I had known Vicki for twenty six years, three months and twelve days when she died.” His voice cracks. “And those twenty six years, three months and twelve days, will always, to me, be infinitely more complete; more liveable with her in this world – and before three weeks ago a world without her laugh and her soul was unfathomable and even today it still seems so surreal to be without her passion.” His voice is shaking, so he takes a steadying breath before continuing. “Vicki was my rock; there were times that the only thing in this universe to bring me solace was the sound of her voice, and I know she was so fundamental to the lives of so many others too. I will love her forever, and a day will not go by I don’t think about her. Her life was so full of vibrant passion, love and madness, and I’m sure if anyone brings that to any kind of afterlife – it would be her. To Vicki.” He raises his glass and the assembly of sniffling guests echoes his action.

When he sits back down he takes your hand tightly in yours, his eyes staring with intense sorrow into the distance.


The kids go with Darius to Vicki’s parents that night to spend some time with their grandparents, leaving the house to you and Misha.

“Can we just order some takeout or something so we don’t have to cook?” Misha asks from the driver’s seat.

“Sure, what do you wanna get?”

“There’s a good Chinese nearby.”

“Okay.”

 

You and Misha curl up on the couch in the dim light of some candles, eating chicken chow-mein.

“How are you doing?” You ask, taking a mouthful of noodles.

Misha nods slowly. “I’m doing okay. Considering.” He sighs and frowns, “Today was tough.”

“I know it was.” You say sincerely, snaking your arm around his waist. “You did so well though; I think you made everyone cry.”

Misha chuckles slightly before sobering. “Except for me.”

You rest you head on his shoulder, staying silent.

Misha puts down his food and turns to face you. “Hey.” He says softly. “Thanks for being there today.”

You smile, “You’re welcome.” You say, leaning in to kiss him.

This time the kiss becomes heated and you don’t try to stop him; you don’t pull away. You lie back on the couch, Misha above you – your hands carding through his hair. He ruts against you gently and you moan against his lips, feeling his obvious arousal pressing into your thigh.

He breaks away, panting with dilated pupils and messy hair; grinning.

“Hey,” He says again, lower this time, before sitting up to straddle you and taking his shirt off in one fluid motion.

You raise an eyebrow; impressed – and paw at his belt buckle. He smirks and undoes it, sliding his belt out of the loops and tossing it casually to the side.

You shimmy out of your pajama top, exposing your braless chest to Misha; who smirks and leans back down to pepper kisses across your collarbone and down your neck.

Panting, you ask “Do you… Have any condoms?”

Misha doesn’t move his lips from your skin, “Do you trust me?”

“Well yeah, but… I’m not on the pill or anything. Clara and I didn’t exactly have to worry.”

His lips still and he groans, sitting up. “I don’t have any,” He whines, “We used an implant. Fuck.” He looks crushed.

Suddenly something in your brain clicks. “Maison!” You yell, grinning elatedly.

Misha looks at you like you’re crazy. “What?

“Maison!” You repeat, though he’s clearly not getting it. You wriggle out from under him. “Ages ago, Maison snuck some condoms past the checkout – you told me!”

Misha’s face lights up with remembrance. “Your brain works at weird times.” He laughs, standing. “But you’re right – I’ll go get them.”

 

“Shall we move this upstairs?” You ask once Misha comes back with the condoms.

“After you m’lady.” He says, following you to your room.

Once you’re inside you lie together, just smiling sweetly.  

Of course, soon it’s back to hot and passionate, and Misha’s on top of you, head in the crook of your neck, moving tenderly.

All of a sudden you feel something damp against your skin. “Misha?” You ask, concerned.

He raises his head so you can see his face; the tears falling down his cheeks.

Your eyes go wide, “Misha, what’s wrong?”

“It’s… It’s just emotional.” He laughs, shaking his head in embarrassment.

“So you’re okay?” You ask, bringing a hand up and smoothing your thumb over his cheekbone, smudging away the tears.

He nods. “Yeah, sorry; this probably isn’t how you expected this to go.” He chuckles, but there’s an anxious undertone.

“As long as you’re okay, this is perfect.” You say with sincerity.

Misha smiles and drops his head down to capture you lips in a loving kiss.

 

You both end up sweaty and naked; entangled with the sheets and with each other. You fall asleep exchanging lazy kisses and giggling.

It’s beautiful.

Chapter Text

You wake up to a sharp pain on your leg. You open your eyes to see West crawling onto the bed; knees digging into your shin. All of a sudden you panic – remembering your current attire.

“West!” You yelp, pulling the sheet up to cover your bare chest.

West giggles, diving on top of Misha. There’s a knock at the door as it opens, revealing Darius.

His eyebrows shoot up when he sees Misha’s nude back and leg, sticking haphazardly from beneath the covers – and your bare torso.

Ah,” He begins, “Sorry Y/N, I didn’t realize you guys would be…”

Your face is beginning to flush as he hurriedly tries to usher West back out. You shake Misha gently, who seems to have slept through this whole escapade.

“Mish,” You chuckle, as he turn over, yawning.

He opens his eyes and breaks into a smile when he sees you, before looking around in confusion at the intruders.

Hey…” Darius chuckles nervously.

“Darius, the fuck are you doing here?” Misha laughs, sitting up.

“I was just, uh, dropping the kids off…” Darius replies awkwardly. “I didn’t exactly know you two were gonna be…” He gestures animatedly at the bed, before he shrugs. “Still; not the most compromising position I’ve found you in.” He chuckles, before wrestling West down the hall.

Misha sighs, turning to you. “Sorry about that.”

You smirk, “It’s okay – not the most compromising position I’ve been found in either.”

Misha raises a curious eyebrow.

“A story for another time.” You chuckle before kissing him softly on the lips.

He pulls you onto his lap as he deepens the kiss. You’re both still totally naked, so you feel his harness pressing into you.

“Mish, didn’t we learn our lesson already?” You chuckle, starting to move away, before he stops you.

Yeah,” He shrugs, “But Darius’ll keep them occupied for a while…”

You raise an eyebrow. “Seriously?”

Misha smirks, “What can I say? I’m selfish.”

 

You lock the door this time, and unlike last time it’s hard and fast and probably the best sex you’ve ever had.

“Holy shit.” You pant, flopping onto the bed.

“Yeah.” Misha replies, draping an arm across his sweat-sheened face.

“That was…” You trail off, failing to find a justifiable word.

Yeah.” He repeats, chuckling.

“We should get up.” You say reluctantly.

Misha just groans.

“Come on” You laugh, rolling out of bed and pulling him up beside you.

He rests his hands on your arms and smiles down at you contentedly.

“Hey.” He says softly, before capturing your lips in his. It’s quick and chaste, but there’s heart in it, and it makes you feel secure.

 

Later that day, after a few hours of Darius avoiding looking at you, you and Misha are sitting on the couch with the kids.

“You doin’ anything later?” Misha asks casually.

“Actually I was planning on going to see my sister, and just catch up. If that’s cool with you?”

“Yeah, sure.” He shrugs.

“I should probably get going soon actually.” You say, stretching and standing.

“M’kay. Text me when you’re coming home.”

You smile, and your heart flutters at the way Misha says home so naturally.

“I will.” You smile and squeeze his hand; not sure what Misha wants the children to know about your relationship with their father.

 

It’s late by the time you leave Beth’s; the streets are lit only by electric orange street lights. It’s a warm evening so you didn’t drive – opting instead to enjoy the summer breeze.

You’re walking past a street you’ve been down many times before – and – you realise, the club you met Misha. You smile fondly at the memory, before you hear a voice call your name.

“Y/N!”

You turn to see one of your old friends; Viktor. You think you should probably be mad, or at least feel something, at the fact he knocked up your girlfriend – but you don’t. Viktor was always pretty harmless and actually a fun guy.

“Hey Viktor, long time no see.” You say, wandering over to where he’s leaning in the doorframe of the club.

“Yeah – it’s good to see you. Where’ve you been?” He asks, taking a drag of his cigarette.

You tilt your head in confusion. “Clara didn’t tell you?”

“Tell me what? Is something going on between you guys?” He asks in genuine concern.

“Um, yeah.” You say incredulously. “You could say that. We- uh –we broke up. Like almost a month ago.”

“Oh.” He says quietly, looking at his shoes in contemplation and stubbing out his cigarette. “Was it just not working out or…?” He asks carefully.

You cross your arms, watching him carefully. “Viktor, do you not… Do you not know?”

“Know what?” He asks, frowning.

“That she’s pregnant.” You say bluntly.

His eyes widen. “She… What? I don’t…” He stammers, before his face screws up in confusion. “But she’s in there right now drinking her ass off.”

Now it’s your turn to look confused. “Seriously?”

“Yeah man, come see.” Viktor turns and walks inside before you have time to protest, so you follow him back into the throng of bodies and sweat.

Viktor walks over to a group of your old friends, and you follow cautiously.

He points at Clara, dancing with some young blonde.

The group greets you and cajoles you into sitting with them.

“She doesn’t look very pregnant to me.” Viktor says, raising an eyebrow.

Your eyebrows furrow. “That’s… That’s why we broke up.” You pause. “Wait, Viktor – you were sleeping with her, right?”

Viktor’s eyes go wide and he starts to stutter nonsense.

“I’m not mad, I don’t care – I just wanna know.” You assure.

He drops his head in shame and nods slightly. “Yeah.”

“You should probably talk to her man – I went with her to the clinic and everything; she said it was yours.” You say with a sympathetic smile.

Viktor nods, a look of shock still on his face and he stands to go talk to Clara. You watch him pull her aside into a quieter spot, and you see her start to cry. Viktor puts his head in his hands and stumble back to let the wall support his weight. They both look so unashamedly heartbroken over the fact they’re having a kid. You can’t help but wonder; is that how you should feel? You’ve practically adopted West and Maison over the last few weeks and hell – you never even wanted kids. Clara and Viktor did – they were always looking for a family, a white picket fence, but not you. You liked this lifestyle, you liked the noise and the sweat and the carefreeness of it all. And although you hated to admit it – you missed it.

 You quickly stand up, your chair screeching on the worn tiles.

“I’ve- I’ve gotta go guys. See you around.” You mutter, practically running out of the club. You make it outside and don’t stop; it crosses your mind that you might be having a panic attack, but you don’t stop.

 A few blocks down you stop, breathing heavily, and lean against the wall of a building. Looking up you snort at the irony – it’s a family planning clinic.

Misha’s words come flooding back to you.

You ever think about them?

Babies?

Yeah.

Misha wants kids – not only does he want kids – he wants your kids. Your head is spinning and you think you might faint. The ground seems to be shifting under your feet and you drop to your knees.

Definitely a panic attack. You think, putting your head in your hands and screwing your eyes shut.

 

Five minutes later you hear a car pull up in front of you, but you don’t look up.

“Y/N?” Misha’s concerned voice rings in your ears, and you coil backwards when his hand grazes your shoulder. “Y/N what’s wrong?” Misha asks, panic in his voice.

Fuck Mish, I can’t… I just…” You say, shielding your face with your arms. “Please, just… Gimme a minute.”

Okay…” Misha says hesitantly, stepping back.

You breathe deeply, trying to calm your thoughts. When your heart doesn’t stop hammering you give in. “I need Beth.” You mutter, pulling out your phone.
Before you press call, you glance up at Misha, and give him a hopelessly broken, apologetic look.

“Misha… Please, can you give me a minute? I’ll be okay I promise.”

He nods, eyes still wide with concern and uncertainty, and gets into his car.

You take another grounding breath but there’s still a sick feeling in your stomach and you can feel your pulse behind your eyes.

“Y/N?” Beth answers and you sigh in relief.

“Beth it happened again.” You say, voice starting to crack.

“Shit.” She replies.

“Beth I thought,” You say before a sob escapes you. “I thought this was over, I thought I was good. And then Clara had to go and fuck everything up and it’s happening again, fuck Beth it’s happening again.” You grit your teeth and dig your fingernails into where you’re gripping your ribs.

“Take a deep breath. Okay? You’re calm, you’re with me; it’s okay.” She says levelly.

You do, and it starts to ground you.

“Alright? Now come on, you know the drill.” She says gently. “In,” You breath, “And out.” You exhale a sob. “Now tell me what happened.” She says firmly, but with care.

“I… I panicked.” You say, wiping the tears from your cheeks. “Beth I… I have a family. What happened? This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.” You sigh, your heartrate slowing. “I look after kids Beth. They… They look up to me.” You pause. “And the worst part? I… I love them Beth.” You say, barely a whisper.

“Look Y/N – you’re okay. Okay? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – but…” She hesitates. “But you do want to.” It isn’t a question. “I know you Y/N, and… You’re happy. Right now? With Misha? You’re happier than I ever knew you could be, I saw it tonight – I saw it when you first met him. This is a good thing.”

You both stay quiet for a time while you think about what she said.

Eventually you sigh deeply. “I know. You’re right, I know. I’m sorry.”

Don’t.” She warns, “You don’t apologise okay?”

“Okay.” You chuckle. “Sorry.

She laughs too. “You good?”

“I’m good. Thank you.”

“Call me soon Y/N - seriously. Bye.” She hangs up, and you’re left alone to deal with Misha. You glance up at the car where he’s frowning at the dashboard. He glances at you and catches you staring – you offer him a small smile and stand up slowly.

You walk over to the car and get in the passenger seat, staring intently straight ahead.

Misha seems to give you time, just watching you apprehensively from the driver’s seat.

You take a deep breath. “Sorry,” You begin, still staring at the road. “About that.” You drop your head, opting to stare at your lap instead. “It uh, it used to happen sometimes – I’d uh, I’d have panic attacks and my sister – she’d be able to calm me down.” You’re glad of the darkness which hides your scared face. “I thought it had stopped.” You add quietly.

Misha inhales as if he’s about to say something, but stops himself – clenching his jaw. “Are you okay now?”

You nod. “Yeah,” You clear your throat. “Yeah I’m good. I uh, I can’t promise it won’t happen again though.” Your voice starts to waver. “Sorry.”

Misha’s head turns to you curiously and you make eye contact. “Why are you sorry?” He asks, his gaze burrowing deep inside you; making you squirm.

“Um, because…” You trail off – because you aren’t sure why you apologized. “I don’t know. I don’t want to be a burden I guess.” You sigh.

Misha frowns in the darkness. “Y/N you are the opposite of a burden – how could you even think that?” He asks genuinely.

“Yeah – I know I’m not, not now. But…” You bite your lip. “But this, this is another part of my life – one I’d really rather not relive.” You swallow thickly. “Can we not talk about this right now?”

Misha hesitates. “Okay.” He says simply. “But… But I want you to know that you could never be a burden to me.” He punctuates his words by leaning over and kissing you softly on either cheek, then on the lips – and then once sweetly on the tip of your nose – making you grin.

“Okay, okay – I get your point.” You giggle, pushing his face away playfully.

Misha grins back, but sobers again quickly. “I’m serious though Y/N – you know that right?”

You feel yourself blush. “Yeah, okay.” You say, returning your gaze to the road as Misha pulls onto the street where, you notice, he was illegally parked.

 

After a time of driving in silence Misha speaks. “We don’t have to talk now, but I do want you to talk to me. I don’t want you to hide anything because you feel like you’re not worth my time; my affection, whatever.” He says, before muttering, “I’m just glad your friends called me tonight.”

You sigh. “I won’t hide anything. I just… I panicked tonight and it was… Scary.”

Misha clears his throat. “Do you think you can tell me why you panicked?” He asks cautiously. When you don’t answer immediately he adds, “I um, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but…” Your eyes widen – shit he heard. “But I heard some of your conversation.”

You feel like sinking into your car seat never to be seen again. “And what exactly did you hear?”

“I heard that you didn’t plan on having kids.” Misha says, and after a pause, “I heard that you love mine.” He says hushed and uncertain.

You say nothing for a while; just stare at the buildings passing by. You sigh, “Well yeah, of course I love West and Maison.”

Misha visibly relaxes, and nods. “I’m glad.”

That’s all that’s said throughout the car journey home, although in your head you’re screaming I love you too so loudly, with so much passion, you’re surprised he doesn’t hear you.

Chapter Text

The next day Misha walks into the kitchen with an apprehensive excitement about him.

You narrow your eyes at him, “What are you planning, Collins?”

Misha grins and walks over to you, “Well.” He begins, resting his hands on your hips. “West and I sometimes do this… Cooking show.”

You nod, “Cooking Fast and Fresh with West. Yes.”

“You know about it?” He asks, surprised.

You shrug. “I googled you.” You say nonchalantly.

“Of course you did.” Misha laughs. “So; you wanna help out?”

“Hmm.” You hum, “I don’t feel inclined to help tidy up.” You remember watching the scenes of kitchen-carnage after escapades such as Pasta with Jam sauce and the Santa Monica Winter Salad and cringe.

Misha chuckles and raises his hands in defeat. “Okay. Since it’s your first time – I’ll clean up.”

You smirk and move forward to entwine your fingers with his, before leaning up to kiss him softly.

“Deal.” You murmur.

 

Misha hands you his iPhone while he ties West’s laces.

“West - stay still.” He grumbles.

You decide the sight is too adorable not to film, so you unlock his phone and start recording. After a few minutes Misha manages to attach both of West’s shoes to his feet and looks up at you. He sees you’re filming and breaks out into a crinkly-eyed grin before turning back to West.

“You ready to go West?” He nods. “Maison?” He shouts through to the living room. “Come on, we’re leaving.” Maison comes running through with no shoes on.

Misha sighs and seems to deflate – you can’t help smirking a little. “It’s a nice day Mish – I can carry her most of the way.” You suggest.

“Maison, will you let Y/N carry you to the store?” He asks her.

Maison grins and nods, running over to you and wrapping her arms around your neck. “Woo, let’s go!” You say, shifting her onto your hip so you have one free hand to film.

“One minute, will you film the intro?” Misha says, crouching down to get in the same shot as West.

“Sure,” You reply, crouching down with Maison. “And, rolling.” You smile at Misha.

“Okay, so we’re here in LA today. And it’s time for another episode of Cooking Fast and Fresh with West.” He turns to West, “Right Westie?”

West nods shyly.

Misha looks back at the camera, grinning wildly. “Let’s go.”

 

The four of you walk to the store because it’s a nice day – and because there’s more comedic value that way.

“So West,” Misha says, while you have the camera on he and West holding hands. “What are we gonna make today?”

“Soup.” West replies.

“Oh yeah?” Misha says apprehensively. “What kind of soup?”

“Spaghetti Bolognese soup.”

Misha nods, “Good choice.” Before turning and making an utterly terrified face at you, making you laugh.

“And…” Maison starts; and you turn the camera to her in your arms. “And syrup.” She adds.

“Of course.” Misha says, “You can add syrup Maison.” It looks like there’s genuine regret about this idea on Misha’s face.

 

Back home it seems like West and Maison bought half the contents of the store; which is now laid out on the kitchen counter.

You pan across the ingredients while West and Maison wash their hands because “it’s going to be vile, it might as well be sanitary”.

“Everyone ready?” Misha asks apprehensively, but there’s at least a little childish excitement in his eyes.

West doesn’t reply - just climbs up on his stool and starts opening ingredients.

“Uh, what pots and pans do you guys want?” Misha asks, reaching up into a cupboard.

“All of them.” Maison says, joining West in making a mess.

“All of them? Are you sure?” Misha asks, looking at the camera worriedly.

“Yeah.” West says.

The contents of the cupboard Misha is currently rifling through seems to shift suddenly and he yelps. “Y/N, would you help me get these down?” He asks while trying to keep them from falling.

You set the phone down on a makeshift tripod and get to Misha just as the pots and pans start to avalanche out of the cupboard. 

You catch one; Misha catches two, but three more come clattering down to the floor.

You wince, but Misha just shrugs. “It’s probably quicker than getting them down by hand.”

You laugh and go back to man the camera. Watching as West pours some uncooked spaghetti into a frying pan, along with a syrupy-tomato sauce. Once that’s cooked, Maison adds some chocolate, West; some onions. Misha occasionally mimes gagging – which you assume he’ll edit out later.

A myriad of ingredients and cooking methods later – the dish is ready. Misha plates it up and takes it to the dining table.

“So here we have ‘Bologna Sunday Soup’; which is Spaghetti Bolognese soup in a beef stock, with syrup, onion to add flavour, and chocolate to add that little bit of sweetness.” Misha says with a smile on his face and dread in his eyes. “You guys ready to try this?”

West nods somewhat apprehensively, whereas Maison dives straight in – her face changing from one of pleasure to one of begrudging displeasure. You stifle a laugh.

“Come on West, let’s try it!” Misha says faux-enthusiastically.

West lifts his spoon to his mouth and takes a bite at the same time as Misha; whose eyes you actually see water a little bit.

“You can… Really taste the onion!” Misha says, choking down his mouthful.

West is chewing thoughtfully before he goes for another bite, making you raise an eyebrow.

“West has a very mature palette.” Misha says, taking a careful spoonful of just pasta.

“I think Y/N should try some.” West says, chewing on some onion.

“Oh hell no.” You laugh, but Misha’s already smirking wickedly.

“Come on Y/N, we all tried some.” He coaxes.

“Don’t try to peer pressure me into eating this!” You protest, your heart actually beating a little fast out of sheer dread.

“We don’t want you to miss out on West and Maison’s amazing concoction.” Misha says sincerely. Damn his Acting on Camera.

You groan, “Fine, but Misha has to take another bite too.” You say, taking Misha’s spoon. He takes the phone from you and turns it to film your reaction. You poke at the viscus, chunky ‘food’ and make a slight face. “Here goes.” You mutter, taking a spoonful. At first you just taste onion – which is bearable. But then the chocolate and tomato starts to mingle; and you genuinely almost throw up.

Remembering the kids might be offended if you do; you manage a very fake smile as your eyes start to water.

“She likes it!” West exclaims, apparently buying your smile.

You nod, covering your mouth with your hand. “Uh huh, it’s great. I’m just gonna go to the bathroom.” You say, getting out of you seat and sprinting to the bathroom.

As you spit out the foul concoction down the toilet you hear Misha laughing and look up to find him filming you. You flip the bird in his direction and stand to wash your mouth out. “I honestly didn’t think anything could taste that bad.” You say after making sure the kids hadn’t followed you.

Misha chuckles, “That was pretty bad. I still think the Santa Monica Winter Salad tops it though.”

“I’m glad I wasn’t there for that then.” You turn off the faucet and take the phone back from Misha.

 

Clean up takes over two hours, and by the end of it the kids are asleep – not that they actually helped much – and you and Misha are exhausted.

You’re lying on the couch – your feet on Misha’s lap, when your phone rings.

“Hey mom.” You answer.

“Hey honey, I was just calling to check up on you. How are things?” She asks.

“Things are good.” Then after a pause, “Yeah things are really good.”

“Uh huh – how’s Clara?”

“Oh, we uh, we broke up actually.” You say, holding your breath while you wait for her reaction.

Oh.” She says sadly. “That’s a shame, I liked that girl. You never have been able to hold on to a relationship though, have you?”

You roll your eyes – your mom never means the things she says, and you’re used to it – but it still stings. Misha starts absent-mindedly playing with your socks.

“Well actually I have a boyfriend now.” You say proudly, and Misha looks up at you, smiling.

“Oh?” Your mom sounds surprised. “What’s his name? How old is he? Come on, spill.” She says nosily.

You maintain eye contact with Misha – which is probably the only reason you say what you do. “He’s called Misha – he’s an actor, he’s forty-two, and he has two beautiful children who I love.” You say without hesitation. Misha smiles and drops his head shyly.

Your mom says nothing for a good three minutes, and you think she might have actually hung up.

“Mom?” You ask with a sigh.

“Well… Congratulations. You’ll have to bring him up sometime so we can meet him.”

You raise your eyebrows in surprise. “Will do mom, I’m sure he’d love to meet you.” There’s sarcasm in your voice, but your mom doesn’t seem to pick up on it. “How’s dad?”

“Same old, same old.” She sighs. “Still going on about that fishing trip he wants to take you on.”

“Good for him.” You chuckle. “Hey, maybe he can take Misha’s kids too.” You say – it’s a spur of the moment thing, and you didn’t really think before you speak, but once you do say it you realise the gravity of it.

“You’re really serious about him this time aren’t you?” You mom says softly.

“Uh, yeah. I guess.” You say through a constricted throat.

“Well I’m sure your dad would love that. I’d better go, see you honey.”

“Yeah, bye mom.” You hang up and chuck your phone onto the other couch.

You look up to see Misha smiling at you curiously. “You wanna take West and Maison out with your dad?” He asks.

“Um,” You say; balanced on the precipice of another panic attack. You shut your eyes, “I… I dunno; it was just a thought.” You mutter. “My dad lives near this beautiful lake – really, stunning place. He always wants me to go fishing with him and I just thought… He might like seeing kids again, since I never went when I was little.” You say, avoiding his eye contact.

“That’s cute.” Misha says, trying to stop himself from grinning. “Adorable actually.” He shifts your feet off his lap and crawls over to kiss you; hands on either side of your face.

You relax into him; panic avoided.

Sighing, you break away. “I’m sorry.” You say sincerely. “I’m sorry for freakin’ out the other day.”

Misha nestles between you and the back of the couch. “You don’t need to apologise.” He says, wrapping an arm around your waist. “You ready to tell me what it was about?”

You bite your lip, but nod. “Yeah. I was just scared. Of this; of you.” You take Misha’s hand, entwining your fingers. “You have a happy family, but that’s not what my life was supposed to be. When I was younger I was ever ambiguous – always changing. What I wanted to do in life, my friends, sexuality, partners. It freaked me the fuck out, at times so much I’d full on panic, and my sister would be the only one who could calm me down. ‘S why she became a counsellor – actually. It became my reputation though; more than that it was my identity. But as it turned out – ever ambiguous me couldn’t change enough to acknowledge I could be happy with not changing.”

Misha squeezes your hand. “Thank you for telling me.” He says quietly. “But you are happy? Here – with me.”

“Infinitely so.”

“Good. Me too.” Misha says, hugging you closer to him.

After a moment of content silence Misha says, “Let’s go on a date.”

“A date?” You ask, surprised.

“Yeah – a good old fashioned, traditional first date.”

You chuckle. “Okay, what about the kids?”

“Eh, I’ll dump them on Darius.” He picks up his phone and calls his friend.

“Hey Mish,” You hear Darius say.

“Hey Dar, listen – you busy tonight?” Misha asks.

“Why? You askin’ me on a date?”

Misha chuckles. “Nope. Actually I was asking Y/N on a date and seeing as you’re the bestest friend anyone could wish for I was hoping you’d look after the kids.” Misha grimaces in anticipation.

Darius sighs heavily, so you chime in, “Oh come on Darius, Misha’ll show you his boobs.”

Darius’ laugh rattles through the phone.

“Y/N!” Misha exclaims in mock indignation. “Are you prostituting me to my best friend?!”

You smirk, “Yes. Don’t worry, I’m a caring pimp.” You pat his chest and give him a comforting smile.

Darius is cracking up on the other end of the line. “Okay,” He laughs. “Okay – I’ll watch the kids. But only if you promise not to expose any part of Misha in my general vicinity.”

Misha grins. “Thanks Dar, love you. Come by at six?”

“Yeah yeah, whatever. See you then.” 

 

Misha had told you to “wear something fancy” which you didn’t really own, so you decided to visit Beth and steal one of her tasteful dresses.

The one she hands you is beautiful. It’s strapless, mostly blacks and greys, but with white patterning and a thick red belt synching in the waist with a realistic three-dimensional rose headband. You put your hair up, and go all out on your makeup. She gives you black strappy stilettos to try on – it all fits perfectly.

When you come out of her room to show her she actually gasps.

“Holy shit Y/N you look amazing. Perfect.” She whispers as she stalks around you like you’re her prey. “He isn’t gonna be able to keep his pants on.” She chuckles.

Beth.” You scold, slapping her gently on the shoulder. “Behave.”

 

Misha is picking you up from Beth’s – like you’re in high school again – but that means they’re gonna have to meet each other.

The doorbell rings and you’re having palpitations. Beth squeals, “That must be him!” She pounces past you to answer the door.

“Well hello.” You hear her purr before you arrive.

You’re a little taken aback yourself – at Misha in a full on suit, his hair perfectly scruffed-up.

When he sees you though; his eyes widen and his lips fall ajar, his eyes wandering from your hair down to your shoes.

Beth somewhat ruins the moment by slapping his shoulder. “Eyes up here mister!” She scolds, pointing to your face - and you try not to laugh.

Misha coughs and looks sheepish. “Sorry.” He says before composing himself. “You must be Beth.” He says, smiling.

In reality Beth’s all full of sunshine, smiles and inappropriate glances anyway, so you try not to worry about them getting along.

“Indeed I am.” She smiles, wrapping Misha up in a hug. He seems surprised, but reciprocates none the less.

“It’s good to meet you. I promise I’ll take good care of your sister.” He says chivalrously.

Beth softens, “I hear you already have been.” She says, before adding sincerely, “Thank you.”

All righty then!” You interrupt. “No more sister-boyfriend sentimentality tonight I don’t think.” You say, smiling widely. “You ready to go?” You ask Misha.

“Ready if you are.” He laughs, offering you his arm.

“Have fun kiddos.” Beth says, waving, even though Misha’s older than her.

 

Misha drives you for a time, and the two of you chat, casually. In a way it really does feel like two teenagers going on their first date – apart from the fact you’ve both seen each other buck naked and sweaty.

Eventually Misha pulls up beside a grassy park, scattered with oriental looking trees. He parks, and gets out – walking around to open your door like a gentleman.

You smirk and take his arm again as he leads you through the trees.

After a time of walking in the peaceful sunset-light, you see two trails of lights hanging from the trees above. They lead to a small table under a sheet-canopy; set up with two candles and a vase of roses. In a ring around the table are standing lights, and a few feet away you see some pillows and blankets beside a projector facing the wall of a small hut.

“Misha!” You laugh in disbelief. “What is this?”

Misha chuckles, low and soft. “You like it?”

“It’s amazing! How did you even set it up in time?”

As if on cue, Jensen walks out from the trees.

“Had a little help.” Misha says, smiling at Jensen. “Meet our personal chef for tonight.”

Jensen smiles and walks over. “It’s good to see you again Y/N.” He says, pulling you in for a hug.

“You too Jensen.” You say, hugging him back before turning to Misha. “How did you rope him into this?” You giggle.

Misha shrugs, “They owed me a favour.”

“They?”

“Jared’s around here somewhere…” Misha says, looking around.

“Ah, yeah.” Jensen begins awkwardly. “We may have had a little incident with the barbecue getting a little… Too hot. Jared went to get a new one – but don’t worry; everything is a-okay.”  Jensen smiles reassuringly.

Misha rolls his eyes. “I should not have trusted him with this.”

“Nah, don’t worry buddy. He at least likes Y/N, so he’s unlikely to chilli powder the food or anything.” Jensen winks at you, before adding. “I’d better get back though.”

Misha gestures to the table and you turn to sit, but as you do you see Jensen make an… Approving, if slightly inappropriate gesture at you. Misha just rolls his eyes.

 

The food comes and goes, and is incredible. It turns out Jensen and Jared can cook a mean steak.

“So,” You begin. “When you said a ‘good old traditional date’, you meant this…” At a loss for words you just gesture around, in awe.

You would almost say Misha blushes. “It was nothing.” He shrugs.

“Well, it’s fucking incredible. I love it.” You say, biting the tip off a strawberry.

“You do know it’s incredibly sexy when you do that right?” Misha says, smirking.

You grin. “I was hoping so. You should try it.” You say, leaning over to feed Misha the rest of the strawberry.

He takes it delicately between his teeth, gazing at you seductively. “Works both ways.” You say breathily.

Misha smirks again and takes the strawberry from your fingers. “What do you say we move this to the impromptu movie theatre?”

“Gladly.” You say; standing and walking away provocatively.

 Misha gets up after you and pounces on you as you reach the soft safety of pillows. He lands above you – hands supporting his weight on either side you your head as he looks into your eyes with a predatory stare.

You swallow, eyes wide, unable to look away.

After an agonizingly long time he drops down and captures your lips in a passionate kiss – open mouthed and desperate.

His body is flush against your and your hands find his back, fingers digging into his sides.

Misha breaks away, “Holy fuck Y/N.” He growls before latching onto your neck, sucking marks onto your skin.

He rolls his hips into yours, making you whimper. “We can’t do this here.” You say breathlessly, though you don’t really mean it. “We might scare the staff away.”

Misha chuckles against your skin, the sound reverberating through your body. “I told the guys to give us some space, no one else comes here.” He says; it’s a question.

“Just as well I’m on birth control then.” You answer. “Do you trust me?”

“With more than my body.” Misha says, but before you have any time to ponder his words, he has pushed down your dress and is kissing and licking his way down your chest and your mind doesn’t work anymore. The only thing you can say is, “Yes, oh God Misha more.”   

 

“Are Jared and Jensen seriously gonna clean all this up?” You chuckle, nuzzling Misha’s bare chest.

“Yep. Like I said – they owe me.” He chuckles and you feel his chest vibrate.

“Tonight was perfect Mish.” You say, placing a kiss on his lips.

Misha hums, “I’m glad you liked it.”

You don’t know where it came from – probably your heart, but more likely your sex-induced endorphins. Either way, you mean it with all your heart when you say, “I love you Misha.”

You feel his heart, which was just starting to slow – leap into action again. He looks down at you – with absolute adoration in his deep blue eyes – takes your face in his hands and kisses you, chastely, before pulling away; his eyes still closed. Softly and sweetly, his lips still touching yours he murmurs. “I love you too Y/N.”

Chapter Text

“Y/N, can you come here for a sec?” Misha calls through from the kitchen.

You wander through to see him on his phone, leaning against the countertop. “What’s up?” You ask, taking an apple from the fruit bowl.

“I kinda need to talk to you about something.” He sighs.

“Uh-oh.”

“It’s nothing bad.” Misha chuckles, “It’s just that Darius finished editing the episode of Cooking Fast and Fresh with West, and... All the good bits have you in them.”

You nod slowly. “So, you want my permission to post it?”

“Well, yes. But it’s more than that. I’m a public figure whose wife died recently and now I’m living with this beautiful girl who clearly loves my kids, who I film retching into my toilet.” Misha chuckles. “People are gonna assume stuff.” He hesitates, “And unfortunately you might get shit for it.”

“Do you mind?” You ask, taking a bite of the apple.

Misha shakes his head, “Not if you don’t.” He pauses as if he’s thinking, “Darius suggested it might be easier to officially go public at this point.”

You consider this for a few moments before nodding. “Okay. If that’s best, I’m cool with it.”

Misha raises an eyebrow, “You sure? You don’t have to.”

“I’m sure.” You smile, walking over to wrap your arms around his neck. “I love you, after all.”

Misha smirks and leans down to kiss you, before taking your arms and moving them from behind his neck.

You give him a confused look, before he takes a bite of your apple, smirking.

“So,” He says, “You wanna see the tweet?” He walks over to his laptop on the table.

“You’re doing it over Twitter?” You laugh, following him.

Misha shrugs, “It’s my preferred method of communication.” He turns the laptop to face you, “Here.” He says.

On the screen there’s a picture you’ve never seen before, and didn’t see anyone take at the time. It’s of you and Misha two nights ago among the trees. You’re looking around in awe, and he’s looking at you with pure adoration.

“Jensen took it when we first got there.” Misha explains, watching you to gauge your reaction.

“Well damn,” You say, nodding in approval. “We look good.” You grin and Misha smiles widely.

You look at the screen again and read the caption:

Found: one girlfriend; short, adorable. Please claim if yours (although if you do – I know you’re lying because she’s mine.)

“Nice.” You laugh.

 

A few hours later Misha posts both the announcement and the episode of Cooking Fast and Fresh with West. For the rest of the day you very carefully avoid going on any social media, but once you’re lying in bed next to Misha curiosity gets the better of you.

You pick up your phone and sign into your personal Twitter – where, of course, people have found already. You have a couple dozen Misha fan accounts following you, but that’s manageable so far.  

You go to Misha’s Twitter, mentally bracing yourself to go through the replies on his post.

There’s the typical “dad” and “marry me”, but once you get past those, you see

You look so happy!

Aww, y’all are so cute together

She is so pretty!!!

Slayy Misha

You cover your grin with your hand, the positivity overwhelming you.

“Babe, you okay?” Misha asks, noticing you.

You nod slowly, “Have you seen the comments on your post?” You ask, smiling.

Misha grins in relief, “Yeah – they love you.” He laughs.

You go back to scrolling through Twitter – there are a few tabloids calling you Misha’s Rebound but they don’t ruin the fan’s reaction.

After a few minutes you ask, “Hey, do you mind if I tweet a photo of us?”

“Sure – just no nudes.” Misha teases. “Although your social media will get mobbed.

“Yeah, I know.” You say, looking through your pictures. “I’m prepared.”

Eventually you settle on a picture you took a few days ago, of you and Misha making faces at the camera. You caption it –

Hello world. You might have heard of my adorkable bf Dmitri.

You put your phone down and wait for Misha to check his Twitter. You watch him as his phone buzzes, he smiles – then he glares at you.

Come on,” He laughs, “Dmitri? Really?”

You grin and shrug. “You have my Twitter notifications on?”

Misha shrugs and murmurs. “Not anymore.”

 

Later you notice he retweeted your photo anyway. You scroll through some of the comments and laugh when you see:

Yes! A new source of adorable Misha photos – score.

You decide to reply with:

True. There will be a lot of Misha pics from me; it is my true purpose in life.

You toss your phone away and look over to see Misha asleep, – it’s late but you’re not tired in the slightest.

You carefully slip out of bed after turning the lights off, and wander down the hall, wondering what to do past midnight on a Tuesday.

You make your way into the living room, where there’s still a small pile of your things that no one put away, kneeling down you notice your sketchbook, a few canvases and paints.

Hmm.

You fill a jar with water and take everything upstairs, turning on the dimmest light in the bedroom. There’s nowhere to sit with a good view of Misha, so you move a few of your things off the dresser in the corner of the room and clamber on top.

Here you have a good angle of Misha’s sprawled out form, half under - half on top of the covers – his bedhead hair sticking up at angles on the pillow, and the sinews of his toned back emphasised by the warm, low light.

You sketch out his form, and then begin to paint. Art runs in your family – but you had never considered it more than a casual hobby; something you’d do at weekends, or if a friend asked. That wasn’t to say you weren’t good – you were very good, but art had never seemed like a real future for you.

 

You end up painting for hours - into the early morning, until pale morning sun begins flowing through the curtains; ruining your lighting.

You squint through your tired eyes, inspecting your work. You’ve always been a perfectionist when it came to your work – but it is perfect.

Exhausted, you place the painting haphazardly onto the dresser and slide off the hard wood surface, collapsing into bed next to Misha.

 

Misha doesn’t wake you when he gets up to drive the kids to school, instead letting you sleep until midday.

When you finally wander into the kitchen, yawning, Misha’s at the table – on his laptop. In front of him is your painting from last night. You’re sincerely taken aback – seeing as you genuinely forgot you’d made it in your weird, sleep-deprived state.

“Morning.” You say, coming over.

Misha looks up, startled. “Morning Y/N, did you paint this?” He asks, gesturing at the painting.

You nod casually, getting a bowl from the cupboard and turning back to face him.

Misha’s staring at you incredulously, “Y/N this is incredible – I didn’t know you could paint!” He exclaims.

You shrug, “It’s just a hobby.” You bring your newly made cereal back to the table and sit across from Misha, taking another look at your painting.

It’s good – better than you remembered.

“You should paint more – this is fucking amazing.” He says sincerely.

“Hm.” You say, taking a spoonful of cornflakes. “Maybe I will.”

 

The next morning Misha comes back into the kitchen after dropping the kids off at school and sighs dramatically.

“What’s up?” You ask, putting the kettle on to make tea.

“Work wants me to come back soon; which I don’t mind – I’m kinda looking forward to going back - but it means moving back up to Washington – Jared and Jensen left yesterday, and…” He trails off, frowning.

“What?”

“Well it’s just… Vicki always used to look after the kids when I was gone, but now… I’m gonna have to get a nanny or something.” He flops down onto a chair.

“Well…” You start hesitantly, before sighing. “I think we should have a conversation.” You say reluctantly before adding, “Like a real, adult conversation.” You take a seat next to Misha.

“Okay…”

“So, you’re gonna be gone sometimes – the kids need looked after. Right now I’m taking time off work with a personal emergency, but I’m meant to be back next week.” You state, absent-mindedly playing with the sleeve of your shirt.

“Y/N, do you like your job?” Misha asks abruptly.

You shrug, “It’s just a job.”

“Do you like painting?” He continues,

“Well, yeah.” You say, starting to regret starting this conversation. “But it isn’t sustainable – I wouldn’t make enough to live off my art…”

“Which is where I come in.” Misha interrupts. “I think you would make more than enough to live off, because your stuff is fucking amazing, but even if you don’t…” He trails off.

“Misha no.” You say firmly.

He raises his hands in defence, “It’s just accommodation.” He says, “And food. And it would give you time to look after the kids… It’s just a suggestion. Think about it. Okay?”

You sigh, “Okay, I’ll think about it.” You roll your eyes. “I guess it would mean West and Maison wouldn’t need a nanny…”

“Exactly! That’s the attitude.” Misha chuckles, standing. “Plus…” He adds, “We have a spare room up North that would look incredible as a studio.”

Stop.” You laugh, standing to cover Misha’s mouth with your hand.

He just grins, “I’ve been wanting to do some renovating – it’s a perfect excuse.”

“Are you serious about all this?” You ask.

“Yes.” Misha says simply, moving your hand to lean down and kiss you softly.

 

Misha has to go back to the set of Supernatural a short three days later. In those three days, you quit your job and Misha packs the both his car and your mini with things for the move.

You sigh, taking a step back to admire your work. Your car is filled to the brim with clothes, bags, food and your belongings.

Misha’s driving the kids because he “didn’t want to subject you to that hell”, and you’re following him up to Bellingham – stopping overnight in Medford, Oregon. You’re setting off early tomorrow.

“You ready for tomorrow?” Misha asks, coming to stand beside you.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” You chuckle, slightly nervously. “I’ve never driven this far before.”

“It’ll be fine, as long as you’re stocked up on coffee, snacks and good music – you’re good. Just be glad you don’t have to deal with those monsters.” He gestures at West; currently chasing Maison along the sidewalk.

That I am glad of.” You say, genuinely relieved.

 

The four of you stop at a hotel overnight, which is stressful because the kids have so much pent up energy. Luckily, you and Misha do not have any energy – so you basically pass out as soon as you see the bed.

 

As the sun’s setting on the second day, you see that heaven-sent road sign – “Welcome to Bellingham” You breathe a sigh of relief and follow Misha’s car to a navy house, looking out onto the marina.

You park and get out of the car, stretching as you walk over to Misha – who’s doing much the same.

“How was that?” He asks.

“I’m sore, sweaty and exhausted. So I’d say it went better than expected.” You say, opening the back door to retrieve a sleeping Maison.

Misha takes West and leads you in through the front door and up the stairs to the kids room. You tuck Maison in and follow Misha to the master bedroom, not even bothering to undress before collapsing onto the soft, white blankets.

“We’ll unpack the cars tomorrow.” Misha mumbles, crawling under the covers beside you.

 

You wake up early – before anyone else, so decide to look around a bit. The view out of the bedroom window is a stunning picture of water glistening in the morning light.

After taking a shower, you change into a robe and wander downstairs to find the kitchen – deciding to make pancakes, you get out some plates and a pan, but realise all the food is in cool-bags in the car.

You sigh and wander outside, grabbing a few bags of food and some clothes for everyone.

 

“Do I smell pancakes?” Misha says, appearing at the kitchen door.

“That’s why I admire you darling – your good nose.” You tease, leaving the pancakes to wander over and kiss the tip of Misha’s nose.

Misha scrunches up his face before pulling you in by your hips and kissing your lips.

“Mm,” You hum, breaking away. “Pancakes!” You say, skipping back to the stove.

Misha chuckles, following you. “Are the kids not up yet? That’s weird.”

You shrug, “Peaceful though.” 

“True.” He laughs, “They might lynch us if they miss pancakes though.”

“Good point – our lives are in serious danger, you should wake them.

 

Misha has to go to work that afternoon, which means – after unpacking the cars – the rest of the morning is spent showing you where everything is, how everything works and what to do if something goes wrong.

“I’ve got it Mish.” You laugh, batting his hand away from one of the many dials on the electrical box. “I’m not gonna need to use any of this stuff.”

Misha sighs, “Fine. I’ll be back late tonight though – and if anything happens-“

“Mish.” You cut him off. “I know, you said. I’ll call. Everything’s gonna be fine.”

“Remember to feed the chickens.” He adds, kissing you cheek. “I’d better get going, have you got this?”

“Have fun at work babe.” You say, following him to the front door. “Say hi to Jared and Jensen for me. Go knock everyone’s socks off.” You smirk, kissing him before he goes out to his car.

 

You’re checking your phone on the couch once you’ve fed, read to, and put to bed the kids that evening.

You notice that basically the entire cast of Supernatural – who you may or may not have googled - have congratulated you and Misha on Twitter.

You smile and get to replying to everyone, as well as answering a few of the fans questions.

After that, you go to check out the room Misha said you could use for art – it’s spacious and lets in plenty of natural light. There’s very little furniture in it, aside from a wooden table and a few chairs. You bring all your art supplies in, dumping them on the table. Your sketchbook falls open on one of your best pieces – it’s of your sister, dancing with one of her ex-boyfriends. You smile, and briefly consider posting it online – to gauge the reaction – but decide to call your sister and make sure she’s cool with it first.

“Hey Y/N.” She answers.

“Hey.” You say, subconsciously doodling on the table. “Oh, first things first – I’m in Washington.”

“The state?” She asks, surprised.

“Yes. Misha had to go back to work, so I went with him.”

“Right. Of course.” She says, laughing. “I saw that you went public on Twitter – people even found me you know.”

“Ah. Sorry about that.” You say awkwardly. “But um, I was wondering if you’d mind if I published one of my drawings of you?”  

Beth sighs. “I guess not – the one of me dancing with Liam? Yeah, it’s good.”

“Yeah. Misha convinced me to start doing shit with my art.” You chuckle.

“Huh, give that man an award – I’ve been trying to do that for years. Anyway – I’d better go. Have fun in Washington.”

“Bye Beth.” You say, hanging up.

 

The drawing is just a taster, so you take a photo of it and post it to Twitter with the caption:

Does anyone know why this happened when I put a pencil to paper?? Is it cursed?

Immediately a hoard of your new followers comment on “this is amazing” and “she can draw too? Damn”. You smile to yourself and put your phone down, deciding to start another painting; this time of Misha and his kids. You pull up the reference image on your laptop, roll up your sleeves and get started on the large canvas.  

Chapter Text

You quickly fall into a rhythm with Misha’s family; your family. It generally goes have breakfast with Misha, take the kids to school, come home and work on your art or your website, pick the kids up from school, make dinner, put the kids to bed, spend time with Misha, sleep.

And it works. Not only does it work, but it makes you happy – really happy.

So of course; something has to go wrong.

                                                                                                          

Two weeks after Misha started going back to work, you get a call from Jensen – Misha’s in his trailer and he won’t come out, which is very uncharacteristic.

It’s a Wednesday morning, the kids are at school, and so you get in your car and set off – after googling directions.

You get there in just over an hour and Cliff the security guard shows you to Misha’s trailer. A few people wave at you; recognising you from the internet but not knowing the reason for your visit.

You get there and Cliff leaves you to knock on the door softly.

“Who is it?” Misha’s voice comes from inside, but it sounds off.

“It’s Y/N.” You reply worriedly.

There’s silence for a moment before the door opens and Misha disappears inside his trailer.

You cautiously follow him, shutting the door behind you.

Misha is sitting on the couch; head in his hands.

“Mish?” You ask, sitting down next to him and putting a tentative hand on his back.

He takes a deep breath and leans back so you can see his tear-streaked face and red eyes.

“Misha, what’s wrong?” You ask; eyes wide and concerned.

He looks away, sad guilt on his face, and takes another breath. “Y/N I love you. I love you and the kids – and when I’m with you everything is okay.” He says softly. “When I’m with you guys everything seems normal, but I can’t Y/N…” His voice breaks, “It’s not normal. My wife is dead Y/N. Vicki’s gone.” Tears resume falling down his cheeks and his breath is wracked with sobs.

“Misha.” You say sadly. “Come here. I know, come here.” You soothe, and he leans into your arms, his head resting on your shoulder.

Jesus.” He breaths, “I’m sorry, I’m such a fucking idiot – I dragged you all the way up here, and I interrupted everyone at work. Fuck. I’m sorry.”

“Misha, no.” You say sternly. “It’s okay – I’m glad Jensen called me, you’re allowed to feel this. You’re allowed to not be okay. Okay?”

Misha just nods into your shoulder, his breathing calming.

“Whatever you’re feeling? It’s okay – it’s normal. You lost somebody, and it’s good to grieve. I understand, everyone at work understands.”

Misha’s stopped crying and he slowly sits up.

“What did I do to deserve you?” He asks, smiling softly.

“Everything darling.” You say, cupping his cheek and smiling.

He sobers slightly. “I really am sorry for making you come all the way here.”

You shrug, “Eh, I’ve been wanting to see the set anyway.”

Misha smiles and relaxes, leaning in to kiss you.

“Love you.” He murmurs.

 

When Misha has a half-hour free – which isn’t for a while because he held up filming – he shows you around.

“And this is Jared’s trailer – which I once filled with sixteen-hundred dollars’ worth of change.” He says as you come to yet another trailer.

“You sound like a tour-guide.” You muse.

Misha laughs, but before he can say anything, Jared appears in the doorway.

“Oh hey Y/N. I see you got Misha out of his trailer.” He grins and walks over, slapping Misha on the shoulder.

“Hey moose.” You say.

Misha rolls his eyes, “She found our side of the internet.”

“I did. Have you guys seen all the erotic drawings there are of you guys?” You ask casually, making Jared laugh.

“Well, Misha did most of it so…” He replies, grinning.

Misha nods, “True.” He jokes.

 

You have lunch with Jared and Misha before the former has to go back to filming.

“So.” Misha says, swinging his arm, and – by proxy – yours. “Just you and me.”

“Uh huh.” You laugh

“My trailer’s empty…” He smirks.

Mish,” You laugh. “As much as I’d love to fuck you in your trailer – I have to pick the kids up from school.”

Misha rolls his eyes, “Another time.” He smiles at you lovingly. “Love you.”

Hearing those words still give you butterflies. “Love you too.”

You lean up to kiss him before breaking away to go back to your car.

 

On the drive home from school, West and Maison seem to be plotting in the back seat.

“What are you guys talking about?” You ask, eyeing them suspiciously in the rear- view mirror.

“Nothing.” They reply in unison.

Sure.” You say incredulously, before shrugging. “Fine – don’t tell me. I’ll find out sooner or later.”

Maison wriggles around for a bit before blurting out, “At school they’re having a ‘bring your parent to school day’…”

“And we want you to come.” West finishes.

“Oh,” You say, surprised. “I- I’d love to.”

“Told you she’d say yes.” West giggles.

Suddenly tears are threatening to escape your eyes as you watch them in the back. This isn’t where you expected your life to be, but somehow it’s better than you could have imagined.

 

You’re sitting at the kitchen table; about to put the kids to bed, on your laptop, sipping tea – when you get a skype call from your mom.

“Hey mom.” You say as her face pops up on the screen.

“Hi honey. How are you? Beth tells us you’re in Washington?” She asks, smiling tightly.

“Uh, yeah. Thanks Beth.” You mutter. “It was kinda last minute.”

“Well,” She sighs. “As long as you’re happy.”

“I am.” You say just as you hear the pitter-patter of West running through. “Hey Westie.” You say, pulling him onto your lap.

“Who’s this?” Your mom asks, peering at her computer screen.

“Mom, this is West; Misha’s son. West, this is my mom.” You say, desperately hoping nobody says anything wrong.

“Well hello West, it’s nice to meet you.” Your mom smiles.6

“Hi.” West smiles back shyly.

“Anyway, Y/N. I actually called because your father and I want you to come visit soon. Bring um, Misha and West if you like.”

“Oh,” You say in surprise. “I mean I’ll have to talk to Misha, he has a very busy schedule…”

“Yes, well. I just thought it would be nice, since we never see you anymore…” She snips.

“Alright, alright - I’ll sort something out.” You say, raising your hands in defence. 

“Good.” She smiles. “Call us soon.”

“I will mom. Goodbye.” You end the call and sigh as West shimmies off your lap to go find Maison.

 

Misha doesn’t get home until one, but luckily you’re still awake.

“Hey babe.” You say, moving into his arms.

“Hey,” He says, kissing you tiredly. “You’re up late.” 

“Mm,” You hum. “I actually wanted to talk to you about something.”

“What is it?” Misha asks, walking you to the couch and sitting.

“Well,” You begin, sitting in his lap. “My mom wants to meet you.”

Misha raises an eyebrow. “A lotta people want to meet me, what sets her apart?” He smirks and you roll your eyes.

“She wants us to come visit with the kids. I told her you have a busy schedule, but she’s very persuasive.”

“Hm,” Misha thinks for a moment. “I have a few weeks after GISHWHES…”

You frown, “GISHWHES?”

His eyes go wide, “I haven’t told you about GISHWHES?” He exclaims, “How could I forget?!”

“Do tell.” You hide a grin at his adorable enthusiasm.

“So it stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen. It’s a week in August where I basically get people to do my bidding. We’ve broken a bunch of world records and it’s incredible. You’ll love it.”

“So are there teams, or what?” You ask, smirking.

Yes… Why?”

You shrug, “Maybe I’ll put a team of my own together.”

Misha eyes you suspiciously. “You’re planning something…”

“Not at all darling.” You tease, before distracting him by unbuttoning his shirt.

“So we’re visiting your parents the third week in August?” He asks, somewhat breathless.

You nod, and he leans up to kiss you, his fingers ghosting over the exposed skin of your lower back.

 

In the morning you instantly regret sleeping on the couch as you stand and find all your muscles ache.

Misha has already left his position under you on the couch, to go make breakfast.

 You wander into the kitchen where you find him making scrambled eggs wearing only underwear and an apron. It’s a good look.

“Good morning.” You murmur, nuzzling his exposed neck.

“Hey there.” He chuckles, turning to you. “Sleep well?”

“Not even slightly.” You say, “But it was worth it to wake up to this.

Misha sighs contentedly, before remembering that he’s cooking.

“Fuck! Eggs,” He yelps as you both smell them start to burn.

You laugh and walk back to the kitchen table, watching Misha failing to salvage breakfast.

 

You woke earlier than you normally would, so you have some time before the kids get up.

“Oh yeah,” You say as you put your dishes in the sink. “West and Maison asked me to come to this ‘parent day’ or something at school.”

Misha looks up from his phone, surprised. “Oh, what did you say?”

You can’t tell his reaction yet. “I uh, I said I’d go.” You say cautiously, sitting across from him.

A small smile forms on his lips. “So… You’re cool with going?”

You nod. “Of course.”

He stands, walking round to embrace you wordlessly.

You laugh, falling backwards under his enthusiastic tackle. “Yeah yeah, love you too.”

 

You follow West into the classroom to see the slightly comical sight of everyone from business men to heavily pregnant women all sitting at kids’ desks next to them.

“I sit here.” West says, leading you to a desk near the back.

You sit down beside him, across from an overweight bald man sporting what look a lot like gang tattoos.

“Hi,” You smile at him. “I’m Y/N.”

He nods at you curtly. “Steve. I’m Tabitha’s dad.”

“Good to meet you. I’m, uh, here with West.” You smile.

“Okay kids, we’re gonna go around the room and introduce our parents okay?” The teacher, Miss Gulliver, says.

Each child goes around the room, says something along the lines of, “this is my daddy, he’s an accountant” and sits down. You start to worry what West is going to say about you.

It’s Tabitha’s turn, and she stands and says sweetly, “This is my dad, he’s a poet.” And sits back down.

It’s West’s turn. He stands, “This is Y/N, she’s a fucking awesome artist.”

You desperately try to stifle your laughter as Miss Gulliver’s eyes widen, “Now West, what have I told you about using bad words?” She says in a panic.

West giggles, “Sorry.” And sits down.

 

You do some more arbitrary social exercises before it’s home time.

As you’re leaving, Miss Gulliver stops you. “Miss erm, Y/N?” She says, giving you unpleasant school flashbacks.

“Yes?”

“Could I speak to you for a moment?” She gives you a sour smile.

“Uh, sure.” You say cautiously, walking over to her desk.

“Please, have a seat.” She gestures at the tiny chairs in front of her desk.

“Okay…” You say, sitting down.

“I just wanted to ask… Well, to put it bluntly – who you are.” She says, before  adding, “We know that, sadly, West’s mother passed away recently – and, well… Now you’re here and West is swearing…” Her tone is clipped.

You smile a little, “Apologies Miss Gulliver, but I find it hard to believe the language wasn’t an issue before.” You smirk humorously. “I’m Y/N Y/L/N. I’m Misha – their father’s - partner.” You say, extending a hand.

She takes it, looking a little startled. “Oh, right. We weren’t aware Mr Collins already had a new girlfriend.

Her tone makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you tilt your head. “Well I’m sorry nobody informed you, but we’ve been a little busy with the funeral et cetera.” Which wasn’t exactly true, but this teacher was pissing you off.

“Uh huh, well, we know the impact that moving on so fast can have on children at this age and I can’t help but wonder…”

“Well don’t.” You cut her off sharply. “We’re fine, thank you very much and I sure as hell don’t need some lonely elementary school teacher telling me how to live. I think we’ll be going now.” You stand, picking up your purse. “It was good to meet you.” You say, your words thick with sarcasm – and walk over to where West had been playing. You take his hand, “Come on Westie, time to go.” You say, and walk out of the building.

You get into the car, still mildly annoyed, before finally dropping your head to the steering wheel. “Shit.” You say, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Y/N?” West asks from the back.

You straighten up. “Yeah West?”

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine West, I just um… It’s fine. Let’s go get Maison.”

 

“Hey babe.” You say as when Misha appears in the bedroom.

“Hey, how was the school thing?” He asks, closing the door and stripping off his shirt.

Um,” You say, about an octave too high. “Nah, it was fine…

Misha raises an eyebrow, sliding into bed next to you. “That bad huh?”

You chuckle nervously. “No, it was mostly fine. It’s just… I may have seriously pissed off the teacher.”

“Miss Gulliver?”

“Yeah.”

“She’s a bitch, don’t worry about it.” He says casually.

“Yeah?” You laugh, relieved.

“Uh huh. I think me and Vicki already set a bad precedent anyway.” He smiles fondly.

“Thank god, I was scared I had dishonoured the family or something.” You laugh.

“Out of curiosity, what did you do?” He asks carefully.

“Oh, well West swore in front of all the parents and then she pulled me aside and told me she thought that you had ‘moved on too fast’, so I told her I didn’t want her opinion as a lonely elementary teacher and stormed off.” You wince, waiting for Misha’s reaction.

He laughs raucously. “Good for you. She had it coming.” He says, leaning across to kiss you.

He pulls away, “Oh, also – my mom wants to meet you.”

You swallow nervously. “She does?”

“Yeah,” Misha shrugs. “It’s my birthday at the end of August, so I thought maybe after going to your parents, we could visit my mom.” Before he adds bashfully, “If you want.”

“Uh, yeah – okay.” You say, somewhat fearfully.

“Come on,” He laughs. “My mom will love you. I should warn you, she’s a little crazy, but you have been living with me for a few months – so you should be pretty acclimatised.”

Hearing Misha talk calms you. “Yeah, no – I look forward to it.” You smile. “It’s just a little intimidating. I don’t even know her name.”

“Her name’s Rebecca.” He smiles softly.

“Okay,” You breathe. “Cool.”

 

Misha has a week off after Friday, so naturally he’s in the kitchen on his phone – as usual.

When you walk in he quickly holds the phone to his chest, “You wanna be in a livestream?” He asks quietly.

You shrug, “Sure, why not.”

“Don’t say anything incriminating.” He chuckles, lifting the phone back up to show his face. “Y/N’s here, and she just needs to sign the NDA and she can talk…”

“What?”

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding.” He laughs, wrapping an arm around your waist.

You rest a hand on his shoulder and peer at the screen. “Hey guys,” You say, smiling.

“We were just doing a GISHWHES Q&A.” Misha explains. “Does anyone have any questions for Y/N, now she’s here?”

You watch dozens of comments go by, trying to read them. “What’s it like being Misha’s girlfriend?” You read, resting your head on Misha’s shoulder and smile happily. “Absolutely… Terrible. Atrocious, honestly; as you’d expect. This is easy, next question.”

You smirk as Misha laughs, nodding. “It’s true; I’m a terrible person and an even worse boyfriend.”

You grin and lift your head to read more questions. “Will you be doing GISHWHES?” You smirk mysteriously. “Perhaps. Maybe I’ll join one of you guys’ teams…” You muse.

“Here’s one.” Misha says, “Who’s your favourite Supernatural character?” He smirks, assuming you don’t know any of their names.

“Hmm,” You ponder, “Definitely Dean because he’s clearly the best looking. Next question?”

Misha rolls his eyes and walks away with the phone. “It looks like Y/N won’t be doing livestreams any more… How unfortunate,”

You chase after him, laughing. “Okay, okay. Of course it’s Castiel because he’s the most attractive.” You say, catching up to Misha, who’s still holding the camera away from you.

“Really? Are you sure about that?” He teases, before you grab the phone from his hand. “Hey!” He yelps, chasing after you as you saunter away with it.

“So, I’ve taken over Misha’s livestream – what do you guys want to talk about?” You laugh, still dodging Misha, who’s desperately trying to get his phone back.

“Fine,” He says, raising his hands and walking away in defeat. “You do the livestream, see if I care.”

“See,” You say to the phone, “He thinks reverse psychology will work on me – but I think he’s forgetting I’m not five.” You say as you make your way into your studio.

You read through some of the comments saying you and Misha are adorable, before seeing some questions.

“Where am I?” You read. “I’m in the room Misha very kindly let me use as a studio.” You lift the phone to show some of the room, careful to avoid the painting of Misha and the kids.

“What’s Misha like in bed?” You laugh. “Well, he doesn’t snore and he’s a light sleeper and…” You say seriously. “I know, I know that isn’t what you meant, you dirty-minded people.” You chuckle. “I should probably give Misha back his livestream before he starts plotting against me.” You say, walking back to find Misha. “But before I go, I was serious about having some of you guys on my GISHWHES team so… I’ll figure that out soon.”

“Have you gotten bored of my fans?” Misha asks, taking back his phone.

“I’ll have you know they’re very entertaining.” You say defensively. “I just didn’t want to restrict their Misha face-time because unlike me, they can’t see your pretty face every day.”

Misha furrows his eyebrows. “Pretty?

“Yes darling, you have a very pretty face.” You say, booping his nose.

Chapter Text

GISHWHES registration closes in a little over a week; which means you have to get your team together as soon as possible.

“How exactly are you planning on choosing your team?” Misha asks while serving up some stir-fry.

“Mm, I was thinking of picking people on Twitter. Maybe I should do a challenge or something…” You muse. “Or just let fate choose; that is, assuming people do want to be on my team.”

Misha chuckles. “They will.” He says, sitting down beside you. “I could do a livestream later announcing it if you want.”

“That could work. Thanks babe.” You smile.

 

Later you’re on the couch with Misha as he’s about to start the livestream.

“Hey everyone.” He says, smiling at the screen. “I’m here with Y/N because she wants to invite you guys to join her GISHWHES team…”

He points the phone at you. “Hi guys.” You wave, “As I’m sure you all know, registration for the hunt closes in just over a week – so go sign up if you haven’t already, it’ll be awesome, exhilarating, crazy… And if you sign up now, you have a chance to be on a team with me! And I can share all Misha’s deepest secrets…” You smirk at Misha.

“Okay, okay.” He laughs, “There will be minimal secret sharing, but you will have the chance to be on a team with this beautiful lady right here, so go sign up!”

 

You end up with twelve women and two men on your team, and coincidentally two of them live only a couple dozen miles from you and Misha.

You’re sitting next to Misha, a few hours before the hunt begins.

“I’m gonna be honest; I’m a little nervous.” You admit,

Misha chuckles. “You’ll be great babe. Plus you do kinda have an advantage…”

“Well, I would – but you won’t tell me any of the items.” You tease, pushing him playfully.

“I’m not helping you cheat,” He laughs. “Plus I’m slightly worried you’re gonna manage to rope me into helping in some way anyway.”

“That’s probably true.” You agree. “But that’s not the problem. I’m meeting some of your fans; what if they’re some of the ones that seem to have a personal vendetta against me?”

“You do know you’re the one who wanted to meet them right? You didn’t have to do this.” He chuckles. “And I’m sure they’ll love you – haven’t you been messaging them already?”

You nod. “Yeah, I’m just worried… Your fans are pretty,” You pause to search for the right word. “Devoted.”

“That is very true – but they’re also very nice – you’ll be fine, I promise.” He leans over to kiss you, making you immediately forget about your worries.

 

“Stop laughing at me!” You giggle, trying not to move as your sister brandishes a leaf blower at you.

“Okay, okay.” She chuckles, steadying the machine. “You ready?”

Before you can answer, she turns it on and a spray of cold, chunky, chicken soup is projected into your face. You wipe a finger over your cheek, collecting some of the mildly congealed food and taste it, forcing a pleased smile and an enthusiastic “Mm!”

Beth stops filming and comes over to help clean the soup off of your face. “So what’s next?” She asks, making a face when her fingers brush a slimy noodle.

“Giant paper airplane.” You reply.

 

That night you collapse face-first into bed next to Misha with a groan.

He pokes your shoulder gently. “You okay there?” He chuckles.

“Uh-huh.” You reply, muffled by the pillow. “Tired.”

“Only one more day to go.” He comforts, stroking your back. “I know you’re having fun really.”

“This morning Rachel, Melissa and I drank four cups of coffee each.” You groan, “And they’re still going.”

“Well, they’re hardened Gish veterans. At least you get on with them.”

“Yeah, they’re nice.” You murmur sleepily.

“Come on,” Misha says, rolling you over so he can pull the sheets to cover you. “You need sleep.” He turns off the bedside lamp and shuffles so your back is flush against his front, one strong arm wrapped around your waist.

“Night Mish, love you.” You yawn and snuggle back into his warm frame.

“Goodnight Y/N.” He whispers. “I love you too.”

 

“So – we can fit in this one last item,” Melissa says, pulling into her driveway.

“And how exactly are we gonna get a coffin Mel?” You ask from the passenger seat.

She shrugs, “My dad works in a coffin shop.”

“Of course he does.” You chuckle, shaking your head.

“So me and Y/N will go get the popcorn while you sort out the coffin. Sound good?” Rachel asks from the back.

“Sure.” You nod, getting out of the car to instead get into yours.

Rachel buckles her seatbelt. “Where are we going to get that much popcorn?” She asks as you start driving.

You shrug, “Multiple grocery stores.”

 

You and Rachel have just manged to get around thirty bags of pre-made popcorn into your car when your phone rings.

“Melissa – how’s the coffin going?” You ask, closing the trunk.

“Well…” She starts, apprehensively. “We may have a problem; my dad says we can’t do it here – too much popcorn-mess-risk apparently. And there’s no way my husband’s letting us do it at my house.”

You groan, “Okay, okay – we can figure this out.” You think for a moment. “Right! This is probably a bad idea but… Misha’s friend Ken has a pickup, and we can take it back to mine.”

“Ugh, you’re the best Y/N!” Melissa says before hanging up.

 

Ken raises an eyebrow, standing in his doorway. “Is this for one of Misha’s hair-brained schemes?” He asks doubtfully.

“Well… Yeah, kinda.” You admit. “We’ll be really careful with it, I promise.”

Ken sighs. “I guess, as long as it’s back by the morning.”

“It will be. Thanks Ken.” You grin as he goes inside to get the keys to his truck.

“Now we just have to find a way to get the coffin in the truck.” Rachel points out. “You know what would really help? A big, strong, athletic guy… Maybe one who does a lot of running and cycling…” She frowns  thoughtfully and you roll your eyes.

“We’re not asking Misha. That’s probably cheating or something anyway.”

“Come on Y/N, please? I mean we’re not gonna be able to lift it – we could really use the help.” She looks at you with puppy-dog eyes.

You sigh. “Fine, I’ll ask him.” Her face lights up.

Before you can say anything else, Ken shows up with the keys. “Here you go girls. Now be careful with it!” He points a stern finger at you.

“We will, thanks again Ken.” You smile and walk to the truck with Rachel.

 

“You guys are waiting here.” You say, raising a threatening eyebrow at Rachel and Melissa.

“Okay, okay – just hurry! There isn’t much time left.” Rachel points out.

You get out of the truck and walk to your front door. Once inside you call, “Misha?”

He pokes his head around the door, “You back already? There’s still a few hours left.” He says.

“Yeah, no. We uh, we kinda wanted to ask for your help.” You say carefully.

“Uh huh.” Misha raises an eyebrow. “And what do you need my help with?” He asks, folding his arms.

“Well… We aren’t very good at heavy lifting and we need to get a coffin into a pickup truck.”

Misha frowns. “And where exactly did you get a coffin and a pickup truck?”

“Mel’s dad owns a coffin shop, and your friend Ken likes me…” You shrug.

“You’ve met him once!” Misha exclaims, but he’s walking over to get his coat.

“So you’ll help?”

“Of course. But West and Maison will have to come too.”

 

Misha and the kids come outside and Misha walks over to the truck to meet Melissa and Rachel – whose eyes are a little wider than normal.

“Hey guys, Y/N says you need my help.” He says, bending down to look in the window.

“Um… Yeah.” Rachel stutters, seemingly unable to look away from Misha.

Misha chuckles. “Well you’re just lucky she’s very persuasive.” He winks at you and you roll your eyes.

“Can we just go please? We’re running out of time.” You say, getting into the driver’s seat.

“Okay, okay. I’ll follow you guys in my car.” Misha says, straightening up.

“Cool, see you there.” You say, starting the ignition.

Melissa and Rachel seem to have gone oddly quiet until Misha’s safely in his own car – at which point Rachel lets out a small squeal. “Sorry, it’s just… You’re so lucky Y/N.” She says animatedly.

You laugh, “Yeah, I am.”

“But seriously. Do you know how many people would kill to be you?” She continues, seeming to get even more excited.

“Well, I think I’ve already met one.” You laugh, glancing over at Rachel’s ecstatic expression.

She sighs. “Sorry – I’m being crazy. He’s just so…” She struggles to find the right word. “Misha.” She settles on.

“He sure is.” You say. “You know, I didn’t even know who he was when I met him; it was a total surprise when I found out he was on TV.”

“Really?!” Rachel replies enthusiastically. “Can you tell us anything about him?”

“Rachel!” Melissa scolds, speaking for the first time in a while. “Don’t be rude.”

“Sorry Y/N.” Rachel says awkwardly.

“Don’t worry about it.” You chuckle. “It’s fine, honestly. Um…” You think for a moment. “Nothing too incriminating, but…” Rachel leans over eagerly. “As far as I can tell, dating him is exactly as you’d expect. He’s lovely, and caring and funny. And when he’s with West and Maison he really seems to come alive. It’s adorable. And he’s a good kisser.” You smirk at their grins.

Rachel lets out another small squeal. “You’re so awesome Y/N. You and Misha are my new OTP.”

After Destiel.” Melissa corrects, and Rachel nods.

“OTP?” You ask, curiously.

“One true pair.” Melissa explains. “We ship you guys more than anyone.”

“Expect Dean and Cas.” Rachel adds.

 

You and Misha take one end of the coffin while Rachel and Melissa have the other.

“On three,” Misha says, “One, two, and three.” You all lift and somehow stagger over to the pickup truck, sliding it into the bed of the truck.

Misha steps back, dusting off his hands. “That wasn’t so bad. You guys totally could have done that without me.” He teases, grabbing his jacket which he’d taken off for the occasion – much to Rachel and Melissa’s concealed delight.

“Yeah, yeah.” You say, resting a hand on Misha’s shoulder. “Thanks for helping darling.” You say exaggeratedly. “Now we just need to get it back to ours.”

“Wait a second,” Misha says, taking a step back. “Are you telling me we’re making a popcorn mess somewhere at our house?” He asks incredulously.

You nod and smile sweetly. “It’s our only option babe. It won’t be that bad – I’ll clean it up, I promise.”

He rolls his eyes. “Okay, fine. You’re lucky you’re cute.” He says, kissing you on the cheek before going back to his car, where West and Maison have been waiting not-so-patiently.

 

Once back home, the four of you haul the coffin into the front yard, and seeing as it’s getting dark you fetch some outdoor lights from the garage.

“I think we’re ready for the popcorn.” You say, taking a look at the setup.

“Can I help?” West asks from beside you.

“Sure, everyone can help.” You say, ruffling his hair.

“Who’s gonna be in the coffin?” Misha asks.

“Y/N.” Melissa and Rachel say in unison.

You laugh. “I guess I’m doomed to finding popcorn crumbs in my clothes for a week.” You say, walking over to unlock your car.

Half an hour later every part of you save your head and shoulders is entirely covered with popcorn.

“Perfect.” Melissa sighs, taking in the scene.

“Wait!” Misha exclaims, rushing forward. “One last thing.” He says, picking up a piece of popcorn. “Open.” He orders, and places the popcorn between your teeth. “Beautiful.” He grins, stepping back.

Rachel gets out her camera – you’re grinning with a piece of popcorn between your teeth and a few pieces caught in your hair.

And there we go!” She says, putting the camera back in its case. “That’s a wrap. Well done guys!”

“Hey, hey, hey-“ Misha says, turning to face the two women. “Don’t tell me you two are just gonna leave us to clean all this shit up.”

Rachel shrugs, “Sorry – I’ve gotta upload the last of the pics.”

“And I’ve got to get back to my kids.” Melissa adds apologetically.

Misha rolls his eyes, but grins. “Okay. Well it was good to meet you two.” He says, walking over to them. “Thanks for taking part in the hunt – I hope it was worth the insanity.” He chuckles, giving each of them a hug.

“Definitely.” Melissa grins, still looking star-struck.

“Absolutely.” Rachel agrees.

“We’ll talk to you later Y/N.” Melissa adds, waving at you; still in the popcorn-coffin.

“Okay guys. Goodnight.” You smile and wave back after freeing your hands from their popcorn prison.

 

Miiiish?” You whine, exhausted.

“Yeah Y/N?” He asks doubtfully.

“Will you take the truck back? Ken wants it by morning.” You ask, your eyes closed and your head buried in the couch cushions.

Misha chuckles. “I guess, but only because I actually think you may get into an accident it if you drive right now.”

“Thank you babe. Love you.” You mumble, before drifting off to sleep.

 

You wake up in bed, as opposed to on the couch where you fell asleep. Misha must have carried you. Rolling over, you see Misha sprawled across his side of the bed, topless back free of sheets.

You sigh happily, from both much needed sleep and the fact you’re lying next to a very attractive topless man – who just so happens to love you.

You place a soft kiss on his lips and he sleepily responds, his lips moving slowly against yours and his hand moving up to tangle in your hair.

Misha’s eyes open slowly and he smiles against your lips before moving away to shift onto his side.

“I have to say, that is a very pleasant way to wake up.” He says; his voice low and rumbling from sleep. “What time is it?” He asks, turning over to find his phone.

“Ten-ish.” You say, sitting up.

Misha groans. “We should get up.” He says, pulling the covers aside and getting out of bed. “Have you even packed yet?”

“Packed?” You ask, confused, before you remember. “Shit! I totally forgot about my parents,” You groan and bury your head in the pillow. “Do we have to go?”

Misha chuckles. “You’re the one who organised it.” He says, pulling on a shirt. “Come on, it’ll be fun.” He says, walking over to kiss your hair.

“You haven’t met my mother.”

Chapter Text

The plane journey was long and exhausting – as you had expected. West and Maison had  somehow got their hands on some candy, which meant everywhere you went there was a screaming, yelling, bundle of pure sugared-up energy in tow.

It also meant that now you had two very grumpy children in the backseat of the hire-car – coming down from their sugar-high.

“West, please just give Maison a piece of your apple?” You beg, wondering how much more of this you can take before you jump out of the moving car.

“No!” West yells, “She ate hers already. This one’s mine!”

“Guys!” Misha interjects; voice stern. “That’s it. No more talking until we get there.”

West scowls but says nothing, not wanting to test his exhausted dad’s patience. He crosses his arms huffily and stares out of the window.

You smile gratefully at Misha, who smiles back tiredly before returning his concentration to driving.

You look around at the passing Michigan forest landscape – the nostalgia giving you comfort - recognising the familiar winding roads of your childhood spent here.

“Take a left up here.” You say, noticing Misha’s nearing your parents’ house.

He turns up a long, tarmac driveway, the surroundings hidden by a thick wall of forest.

You hum in contemplation. “This road is new. It used to be a dirt track.” You comment.

After a few minutes the trees thin out, revealing a large, white house – the back of which is attached to a high, walled off area.

“You can park over there.” You point next to your parents’ battered, green, ’93 Honda accord.

Misha pulls up next to it and turns off the ignition as you see your mom appear at the front door.

You get out of the car and stretch, before you start walking over to her.

“Hey mom,” You smile as she envelopes you in a hug.

“Hi honey. How was the journey?” She asks, already walking to the car.

“Not too bad – especially at the times when the kids were sleeping.” You chuckle, opening Maison’s door to help her out of her car seat.

“Mais,” You say, holding her hand as she cowers shyly behind your legs. “This is my mom. Mom – Maison.”

“It’s nice to meet you Maison,” Your mom says, crouching down to smile at her.

“Hi.” Maison replies quietly, her nervous hands bunching the fabric of your jeans.

You hear Misha’s door open. “And this is Misha.” You say, smiling at him.

“Hm,” Your mom says, looking him up and down. You can see Misha getting genuinely a little uncomfortable under her scrutinous glare.

He clears his throat and walks forward, extending a hand for her to shake. “It’s good to meet you Mrs Y/L/N.”

She takes it, her face breaking into a warm smile. “You too Misha. And please, call me Katy.” 

“Where’s dad?” You ask curiously.

“He’s in the garden planting some seedlings.” Your mom rolls her eyes. “I told him you’d be coming this afternoon, but he said the plants couldn’t wait.”

You laugh, “Sounds about right. I’ll bring in our things and then go say hello.”

 

You put West and Maison’s bags in the guest bedroom; where your mom has found you and your sister’s old beds and put them up so both of the kids have a bed each. You and Misha have your old bedroom – where Misha is currently sprawled out on your sheets.

“This was where you grew up?” He asks, pulling you down to fall beside him.

“Yup.”

“It’s nice.” He emphasises the word nice and you shrug.

“It wasn’t exactly like this when I lived here. My parents fixed it up when me and my sister moved out.” You explain, before adding, “You haven’t even seen the best part yet.”

Misha raises an eyebrow. “And what’s that?”

“The walled garden; A.K.A my dad’s favourite child.” You chuckle, standing back up and pulling Misha with you. “Come on, and be warned; if you insult it you will never see the light of day again.”

Misha makes a faux-terrified face as you lead him out of your room and down the corridor – checking that the kids aren’t destroying their room on the way.

You get to the kitchen where your mom is starting to make dinner.

“I’m just gonna show Misha the garden.” You tell her, unlatching the back door.

“Okay. If you see your father tell him he has to come inside for dinner.” She replies.

“Will do.” You say, leading Misha out of the door and into a spacious conservatory. “First things first,” You say, looking around. “My dad built this.”

Misha raises an eyebrow, impressed. “Nice,” He says, walking around to get a better look.

It’s cluttered with plants, trees and vines – but you’ve always thought that gave it its magic.

“Okay,” You say, opening the double doors to the outside. “And here’s the main event.”

Misha walks outside, squinting slightly in the evening sunlight before his eyes adjust. “Holy shit.” He mutters, taking in the sight.

There’s a canopy of trees; most exotic - flowers in full bloom. The towering walls are covered in ivy, interspersed with roses. At the entrance there are two grand, ancient weeping willows; their branches grazing the grass below like withered fingers.

Misha gingerly pushes them aside, walking forward onto the paving stones. They lead to an oriental style pond, surrounded by a canvas of reds and pinks on the background of their green foliage owners.

As the two of you near the pond, you can see that the water is clear – a majestic koi carp bubbling a friendly greeting beneath.

“How are we even gonna find your dad?” Misha chuckles, still in slight wonder of his surroundings.

You smile, “He’ll be in the greenhouse. Come on, I’ll show you.” You start walking off the path, the grass soft but dry on your shoeless feet. Misha follows you through a thicket of bamboo and over a makeshift bridge crossing a plot of crops of some kind.

The greenhouse is medium in size, but it’s tall. Even so, the plants inside seem to be trying to escape, winding their way up the glass and out of a few cracked windows, too high to repair easily.

Across from the greenhouse is a large oak tree with an old rope swing, now with moss adorning the length. You smile fondly at the memory.

In this part of the garden you can hear more clearly the cacophony of birds singing in the treetops, and you take note of the new ornate bird houses dotted around.

 You walk up to the greenhouse, Misha trailing behind – though somewhat enraptured by the scenery.

You open the door, “Dad?” You call. After a few seconds, a wall of sweetcorn plants parts and your dad’s head emerges.

“Y/N!” He exclaims, wrestling his way through the plant. He makes it out and walks over to you.

He goes to hug you, but seemingly remembers his soil-caked gloves, so grimaces and removes them, tossing them haphazardly behind him.

“Y/N.” He repeats, smiling widely.

“Hi dad.” You smile back, hugging him. “Misha, this is my dad. Dad, meet Misha.”

“It’s nice to meet you Mr Y/L/N. And can I just say; your garden is… Unbelievable.” He says, shaking your dad’s hand.

You can see his pride as he shakes Misha’s hand. “Good to meet you Misha. And thank you – but really, it isn’t up to scratch this year; only half my rhododendrons bloomed and the sycamore got anthracnose…” He trails off, looking a little distressed.

“Dad,” You scold, “Don’t be modest.” You turn to Misha. “He did this all himself you know.”

Your dad smiles again. “Yes, well. Maybe I can give you a tour of it later.”

Misha grins, “I’d love that.”

“But not right now,” You interrupt. “Mom wants us back inside for dinner.”

Your dad rolls his eyes. “I suppose we’d better go. Did you bring uh… West and Maison?” He asks hopefully.

“Yes, we did.” You chuckle. “They’re inside.”

 

Your mom makes a lasagne for dinner, and you’re all sitting round the dining room table.

“So Misha,” Your dad says, halfway through the meal. “What are your opinions on our current administration?”

You roll your eyes, but say nothing. Misha glances at you, and you nod encouragingly – silently letting him know he isn’t going to get lynched for being a Hilary supporter.

He clears his throat. “I think our president is a dangerous, racist, misogynistic dick, quite frankly.” He says bluntly.

There’s a moment of tense silence before your dad bursts out laughing. “I think I like you son.” He says, patting Misha on the back.

Misha chuckles, “I’m glad to hear it Tim.”

You smile to yourself, happy they’re getting along.

 

That night you’re sitting in the living room, around a roaring log-fire. West and Maison are on either side of your dad as he carefully lifts a flat wooden box onto his lap.

You are Misha are sitting on the other couch, and your mom’s in an armchair, snoozing quietly.

“You see,” Your dad says quietly, looking at the children over his reading glasses. “In his spare time, my dad was an entomologist. Do you know what that is?” West and Maison shake their heads. “It means he studied insects.” He says, undoing the clasps of the box. “He travelled all over the world collecting them.” He opens the lid of the box slowly and you see West and Maisons eyes go wide in wonder.

“What is it?” Misha whispers to you curiously.

“Go see.” You nudge him, smiling amusedly as he stands and walks over; dawning a look of fascination when he sees the box.

You know the contents well; a myriad of beautiful and exotic butterflies and moths.

“Are they real?” Misha asks.

Your dad nods. “Every one of them. Most of them are over a hundred and fifty years old now. They’re very fragile, so no touching.” He warns the children.

“They’re beautiful.” Misha says softly.

Your dad smiles and gently closes the lid again. “Indeed they are. Sadly, this is the last box I have left. The rest got lost, or broken.” He says sadly.

“Thank you for showing us.” Misha says, coming back over to sit next to you.

“Thank you.” West echoes politely.

Your dad chuckles. “You’re very welcome. Now I think I’m going to bed. I’ll see you all in the morning.”

“Goodnight dad.” You say, leaning into Misha’s side. “We should probably go to bed too.” You say sleepily. “Especially if you’re going fishing early tomorrow.”

Misha groans slightly. “Remind me why I agreed to that again?”

You poke him, “It’ll be fun. As long as West and Maison don’t get their hands on any sugar.”

 

You’re staying with your mom to catch up while your dad takes Misha and the kids fishing. You’re sitting at the table with her, enjoying a cup of tea. The others have been gone for a few hours now, and should be coming home in about an hour.

“Your father was really excited to be going fishing with West and Maison today you know.” Your mom muses, smiling.

“I can imagine.” You reply, “I think the kids were looking forward to it too. Although not as much as Misha.” A smile creeps onto your lips.

“You really like him don’t you.” She smiles amusedly.

You can feel your blush despite yourself. “You know I do.” You say, rolling your eyes.

She nods, “Well, you did move across the country for him. It’s pretty telling.” She teases. “You think he’s gonna pop the question anytime soon?”

Your eyes go wide. “Mom,” You scold, but before you can argue, your phone starts ringing. You glare over at your mom while she sips her tea innocently.

“Hey Mish.” You answer.

“Y/N, I’m so sorry,” He sounds panicked.

You sit up, concerned. “What? What is it?” You ask, frowning in confusion.

“It… It’s your dad.” Misha explains; his voice frantic.

You feel your heart pick up speed in fear. “What?”

Chapter Text

Misha’s POV

Misha wakes to see the sun rising over the treetops out the window; through the cracked open curtains. The clock tells him it’s just after seven.

He groans and rolls over, eyes falling on your sleeping form beside him.

He smiles and kisses your cheek before he gets out of bed, getting dressed to go and wake the kids up.

 

Five hours later he’s sitting on a deck chair, looking over the crystalline water of the calm lake; the picture of serenity.

That is - of course - sans the squealing, splashing children a few hundred yards along the beach.

Misha hears a chuckle from the plastic chair beside him. He turns to your dad.

“Ah, children.” Is all he says.

Misha smiles. “What about you Tim, you ever miss having them?” He asks.

Tim smiles a little sadly. “Sometimes.” He says. “I’m just glad Y/N found someone so I could at least experience this again.” He looks fondly at West and Maison, making sloppy sandcastles from the too-wet sand.

Misha smiles proudly. There are a few minutes of silence before he speaks. “You wouldn’t be saying that if you had to drive them here.” He chuckles.

“Here’s to that.” Tim replies, raising his beer.

 

Your dad had caught a few Perch and a Trout, Misha had proudly caught a largemouth bass. West had found a freshwater crab – but Maison had lost it after it pinched her; much to her brother’s annoyance.

Tim brought sandwiches which were long-since eaten, and beers which he and Misha were slowly making their way through.

The lake itself was beautiful; teeming with wildlife, surrounded by a mostly rocky beach – aside from the small sandy alcove West and Maison were playing in. It was deep in the forest, so the shade had cooled the water – but it wasn’t freezing because of the scorching summer.

“Dad! Come look what we found!” West shouts, holding up a closed fist.

Misha grunts as he stands, having not moved from one spot in hours. “Watch my rod, would you?” He asks the man beside him.

Tim smiles. “When children call…”

Misha chuckles and makes his way over to the kids thirty yards down the beach. “What is it Westie?” He asks, crouching down.

West is holding a small, grey crustacean. “What is it dad?” He asks,

“I think it’s a dead crawfish West.” Misha replies, a look of mild disgust on his face. “I wouldn’t touch it.”

“No – it isn’t dead – it was moving a minute ago!” West insists, poking it with his other hand.

“Okay, well I think you might’ve killed it buddy.” Misha says, standing back up. “I think you should put it back in the water now.”

“Okay.” West replies obediently, running down to the shore.

Misha stays and watches for a moment longer before wandering back to Tim.

“He found a dead crawfish.” He explains, sitting down and picking up his fishing rod.

There’s no reply and Misha thinks Tim might have fallen asleep. But no, his eyes are open. There’s a content smile on his lips.

His head lolls unnaturally to the side and Misha suddenly feels a nauseating panic. “Tim?” He says loudly.

There’s no reply.

“Tim?” He repeats, alarmed, this time shaking the older man’s shoulder gently.

He checks for a pulse.

There isn’t one.

Shit.

 

While Misha’s impatiently waiting for the ambulance, nervously running a hand through his hair, he calls you.

“Hey Mish.” You answer.

“Y/N, I’m so sorry,” He replies, distressed.

 “What? What is it?” You ask, frowning in confusion.

“It… It’s your dad.” Misha says, his voice pained.

 

You feel your heart constrict.

“What?” You ask, not wanting to hear the answer.

“I… I think he had a heart attack, there’s an ambulance on its way.”

You swallow thickly, head spinning. “W- what happened?” You manage to ask.

“I don’t know. I went over to see West and when I came back… He wasn’t breathing.”

“What hospital?” You ask, standing up and watching your mother’s confused, scared expression.

“Uh, Saint Josephs.” Misha replies and you walk to the door, gesturing for your mom to follow.

Once you’re in the hire car you put your cell on speakerphone.

“You’re on speaker.” You say as your tyres screech on the tarmac.

“Y/N, what’s happening?” Your mother asks fearfully.

You turn to face her, eyes scared. “It’s dad.” You whisper. “Misha thinks he had a heart attack.”

Your mom’s eyes go wide and she blinks a few times. “W-what?” She stammers.

“There’s an ambulance on its way.” You say, though a shaky voice.

 

You get to the hospital a few minutes after the ambulance does, and rush inside – finding Misha and the kids immediately.

He wraps his arms around you, and you tuck your head under his chin.

“What’s happening?” You ask unsteadily.

You hear Misha swallow. “It doesn’t look good.” He says; his voice rough.

You hear your mom make a strangled noise behind you, and you leave Misha’s arms to embrace her.

“It’s okay mom.” You say. “It’s okay.”

Misha watches sadly from a few feet away, wishing there was something he could do.

 

You’re standing outside room 337. The wooden door is shut, serving as a dam of reality; as long as he’s behind that closed door, this can’t be real.

“I’m sorry.” The doctor before you says, wearing practised controlled moroseness on his features. “There was nothing we could do.”

Your mom breaks down into your arms, sobbing damp patches into your shirt.

“Thank you.” You tell the doctor, who nods and walks away, leaving you to grieve.

A stout nurse bustles out of the next door down, pushing a cleaning trolley. “Excuse me.” She says, walking past your family. You watch her open the door, your face falls as the inevitability hits you.

It’s only a flash; an instant image of him – lying on the hospital bed, sleeping, he’s just sleeping. But he’s not; he’s sickly pale and flash-frozen still. That’s all you see, and that’s all it takes.

A tear falls down your face and suddenly they won’t stop falling.

Misha stands, unsure of what to do. West and Maison are by his legs, scared and unsure – but knowing something bad just happened.

“I’m gonna take the kids to the car – if that’s okay?” He says quietly, resting a hand on your back.

You just nod, clinging to your mother.

 

Back at your family home that night; you lie awake next to Misha – staring at the ceiling. He takes your hand in his and squeezes in an attempt at comfort.

You roll over, burying your head in his chest, breathing in his scent and curling away from the world. He strokes your back.

“How are you doing?” He asks softly.

You sigh. “I just can’t believe he’s really gone.” You hold Misha tighter. “I used to think he was invincible – when I was little. I lost that delusion when he got into a car accident. I was only fourteen. He was in hospital for almost a month until he was let out. He tore up his hands pretty good – couldn’t garden for weeks. Funny thing is; that was his biggest worry. He would grumble about it every day – but he didn’t seem to notice the fact he almost died. He never has been afraid of his own mortality; my dad.” You say softly. “And I suppose that’s a good thing. He got to see West and Maison – he died happy.” You muse. “I’m worried about my mom though.”

“She’ll be okay.” Misha says, “I think she’s where you get your resilience from.”

You chuckle. “That’s true.” After a moment you add, “Still though. They’ve been together since they were sixteen.”

Misha tenses slightly, his arms tightening around you.

“What is it?” You ask, tilting your head to look at him; there are tears in his eyes, which he’s trying to hide.

He closes his eyes, causing a tear to fall from one. “Nothing.” He shakes his head. “Just that I was that age when Vicki and I...”

Your face falls in understanding. “I’m sorry.” You squeeze his hand.

“Yeah.” He says softly, opening his eyes to look at you. “Me too.”

 

The funeral is on a Sunday – the day before you leave to go back to Washington. You and Misha had decided not to visit Misha’s mom – Rebecca – in favour of inviting her to yours.

The midday August sun is hot in the open, shadeless field. There is a small gathering of people milling around, jackets shed in the heat. Your dad’s parents had died a long time ago, as had his brother. His only other family was on the other side of the world – except you and Beth.

“Hey Y/N.” She says, embracing you.

She flew up yesterday after hearing the news of your father’s passing.

“Hey.” You reply, smiling sadly. “How are you doing?”

Beth nods, “Not too bad. It was a shock but… At least he was happy.”

“Yeah.” You agree. “He really was.”

 

You see some of your dad’s old friends – some you recognise, some you don’t.

Misha – unsurprisingly – gets on with them, and the group becomes less sombre and more reminiscent, the scent of autumn and wine in the breeze. It’s what he would have wanted.

When everyone has spoken and said their goodbyes, the casket is lowered into the ground and you help Beth carry over a full-moon maple. It was one of his favourite trees.

You bury the roots in the dry soil, patting the edges gently just as he’d taught you when you were little, bumbling around the garden and getting in his way.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” You repeat his words, smoothing your fingers over the dirt.

Beth raises an eyebrow from beside you.

“William Blake.” You shrug. “Always stuck with me.”

 

Your sister decided to stay with your mom for a while – so she isn’t alone. Beth suggested selling the house – but your mother was steadfast.

“I wouldn’t let anyone touch his garden.” She protested vehemently. “Quite literally, over my dead body.

So you, Misha, and the kids went back home, having only a few days before Misha’s mom comes to stay.

“You’re sure you’re okay with this?” He asks for the thousandth time since you got home.

You roll your eyes. “Yes Mish, I’m fine. I’m looking forward to it in fact! Maybe she’ll distract you from fussing over me.”

 He sighs. “Okay, okay.” He says, ceasing his pacing to sit next to you on the couch. “Love you.” He smiles softly and you can’t help but smile too.

“Love you too, idiot.” You say fondly, leaning over to kiss him.

There’s a chorus of “Ewww” from West and Atticus at the doorway.

Misha pulls away, laughing. “It’s not ‘eww’ guys. You’ll see - someday.” He shakes his head softly. “Did you want something, or are you just here to gawk at my affection towards your mother?”

Misha seems to realise the mistake at the same time you do, and his eyes widen.

West however, didn’t seem to pick up on it, so intervenes before either of you can say anything. “It’s time to go get Phoebe.” He says, before running away with his friend.

You smile a little, unsure. “You called me their mom.” You tease, poking him softly.

Misha smiles sheepishly. “I mean you pretty much are…”

You shrug, “True.” Realising it is, in fact, true.

He breaks into a wide grin and returns to kissing you reverently.

 

Rebecca is a whirlwind. It’s the only way to describe her; a wild, unstoppable force.

She’s nice; she’s lovely – but she’s totally uncontrollable.

“West!” Misha says, exasperated, after the boy finished spewing a string of expletives. “Just… Tone it down a little, okay?” 

West grins evilly and runs out of the living room, giggling maniacally.

Rebecca is sitting quietly in the corner, but she catches your eye and smirks as Misha sits back down with a sigh, throwing an irritated glance at his mother.

“So.” She says. “Where are you from Y/N?” She smiles.

“Michigan.” You reply, “Did Misha mention we just got back from visiting my parents?”

“Yes, he did.” She says in a sympathetic tone. “I’m sorry to hear about your father, I’m sure he was a great man.”

You smile and drop your gaze. “That he was.”

There’s a comfortable silence before a log shifts in the open fire, bringing everyone back to the present. Misha gets up to sort it just as Maison wanders in, rubbing her sleepy eyes.

“Hey Mais, what are you doing up?” You ask.

“Couldn’t sleep. Want a bedtime story.” She says.

Misha is the only one who she’ll let read to her – you’ve learned.

He stands and walks over to pick her up, “Come on then.” He says, resting her on his hip. “What’ll it be tonight? Tintin, Asterix…” You hear him disappear up the stairs and turn your attention back to Rebecca, who’s watching you with a small smile.

You tilt your head in question.

“It’s nothing.” She shakes her head. “Just sometimes you remind me so much of Vicki.” She turns suddenly serious. “And I say that as the highest of compliments.”

You smile sadly. “Yeah, so I hear.” You nod, “Sometimes I wish I could’ve known her.”

Rebecca smiles. “I think you would have gotten along with her. Did you know she was an author? Among other things…”

You smile curiously. “I didn’t. Misha only tells me the occasional story, I don’t like to ask.”

She nods in understanding. “Well,” She leans in to tell her story. “When Misha told me about her first book – I didn’t quite know what to say. Take a guess at what it was about.”

You shrug. “I have no idea.”

“Threesomes.” She says simply, before bursting into laughter.

You grin, “You’re kidding,” You say incredulously.

Rebecca shakes her head. “I’m not. It was called… ‘The Threesome Handbook; A Practical Guide to Sleeping with Three’ – if I remember correctly.” She chuckles, taking a sip of her wine.

“That is honestly amazing.” You say. “I’ll have to read it sometime.”

 

Misha finishes the last of his wine and Rebecca yawns.

“I think I’ll go to bed now.” She says, putting her glass on the coffee table. “I’ll see you two in the morning. Goodnight.” She stands and walks out of the room, leaving you and Misha alone.

You lay your head on his lap and smile up at him. “Hi.” You say.

“Hey.” He replies, carding a hand through your hair. “We should go to bed too; it’s late.”

“Mm. In a minute.” You mumble, lifting a hand to stroke Misha’s two-day stubble.

He leans into the touch, smiling thoughtfully down at you. “I love you, you know.” He says softly.

“Yeah, I know. And I love you.” You grin. “Look at us.”

“We make quite the pair.” He smirks.

You sit up to kiss him softly, straddling his waist with your hands in his hair. He smiles against your lips and stands, suddenly, causing you to yelp in surprise and cling to him.

Misha chuckles and wraps his arms firmly around you. “Bed.” He says, grinning.

“Bed.” You agree, nodding.

Chapter Text

You wake with the sun – looking at the clock on the nightstand you see that it’s 6AM. Misha’s sprawled on his back beside you; one arm slung across his eyes, the other by his side.

You sigh contentedly and roll onto your side to watch the rise and fall of his chest, wondering how you got so lucky.

Ten minutes later you get up to use the bathroom, and then wander downstairs for breakfast.

Rebecca is already sitting at the kitchen table, cup of coffee cooling beside yesterday’s paper before her.

She looks up when you enter, “Ah, good morning Y/N.” She says, smiling.

“Morning.” You reply, padding past her to pour yourself some tea. “Did you sleep okay?”

“Fine, thank you.” She says, closing the newspaper.

“We’re lucky it’s this quiet,” You say, pausing to blow the steam from your mug. “Normally the kids are up by now, screaming the neighbourhood awake.” You smile fondly.

Rebecca chuckles, “Yes, I’ve experienced that before here. They can be very… Wild.” She says.

“But adorable.” You add.

“Of course.” She says, nodding vigorously. “It’s wonderful.” She says after a pause.

“What is?” You ask, coming over to sit across from her.

“The way you care for them.” She says; the intensity of her gaze somewhat petrifying. “You make a wonderful mother.” She adds.

You look away in shyness and a wave of awkwardness washes over you. You clear your throat. “Thank you.” You say, standing. “I should go and wake Misha.”

You walk away and catch a glimpse of her puzzled expression.

 

At lunch you’re sitting next to Misha outside of a café in the sunshine. Rebecca is distracting the kids by following them along the hedge, watching West point out the bugs that he finds.

Misha’s arm is around your shoulders as he watches in contentment through sunglasses.

“You look good in sunglasses.” You think out loud. “Except,” You say, removing them, “That I can’t see your beautiful eyes.”

Misha doesn’t hide his bemused smirk. “That was so cheesy.” He laughs.

You nod, “Cheesy but true.” You have now commandeered the sunglasses. “Hey do you want to try my milkshake? It’s really good.”

“Did you just compliment me to steal my sunglasses?” Misha asks, picking up your drink.

You shrug, “It wasn’t solely for that purpose – more two birds one stone.”

“And what was the other bird?” He asks, taking a sip of your strawberry milkshake.

“Oh,” You frown. “So you’d kiss me, of course.”

Misha chuckles, putting your drink back on the table and nodding. “That’s fair.” He shrugs. “But,” He takes the sunglasses off you and places them on the table. “If you’re wearing them then they get in the way.” He finally leans over and kisses you softly, smiling.

When he breaks away he just smiles softly and looks at you.

“What?” You ask.

“You’re beautiful, you know that?”

“Speak for yourself.” You say.

“Mm,” He says, “Our genetics would make a supermodel.”

At that moment you’re both distracted by Rebecca calling, “West! No, that’s a poisonous berry – spit that out!”

 

“And I’ve got another convention soon; it’s all a bit hectic so we probably won’t be up for a while.” Misha says to his mother, glancing at her in the rear-view mirror. “Which reminds me, Y/N, do you wanna come? It’s in Pittsburgh. They can be really fun - and really stressful, but…”

“I’d love to,” You cut off his rambling. “What’s happening with the kids?” You ask, glancing at the back seat, where both West and Maison have passed out after their sugar rushes.

Misha shrugs, “I’m sure Paul would love to have them for a while.”

“Paul…?” You ask, wracking your brain.

“Uh, Vick’s dad.” He replies, shifting in his seat a little.

“Oh yeah, of course.” You say, “That sounds great, then.”

Misha smiles, “Awesome.”

 

You’re alone with Rebecca while Misha takes the kids shopping, when she sidles up to you surreptitiously.

“Hi…” You say, mildly alarmed.

“Since I’m leaving early tomorrow, should we do gifts tonight?” She asks, hushed.

You look around, then back at her. “You… You do realise Misha isn’t here right now, don’t you?” You ask.

She rolls her eyes and stands normally. “Spoilsport.” She sighs.

“Sorry,” You chuckle. “And yeah, we can give Misha his presents tonight.” You lean over, imitating Rebecca from a few moments ago. “What did you get him?” You ask conspiratorially.

She chuckles and bats you away. “I’m not telling you after you mock me!” She says, indignantly.

“Come on,” You encourage, following her as she walks to the other room.

“Just some things for the kitchen and an apron I made. What did you get him?” She answers.

“That sounds nice.” You say, nodding. “I painted him a li’l something, and got him a shirt.”

Rebecca nods, “He’s a lucky boy.” She chuckles.

 

That evening there’s a knock at the door and you open it to find Darius and his wife Lisa, along with their two kids.

“Hey guys,” You greet warmly. “Everyone’s in the kitchen, you can go on through.”

They smile and walk inside, Darius carrying a bottle of red wine.

You close the door and follow them through to where there’s soft music playing in the background and the chatter of greetings.

“That’s everyone,” You say. “Rebecca would you mind helping me serve the food?”

“Sure.” Rebecca says. “It’s so lovely to see you again Lisa – I’m looking forward to catching up.” You hear, before she follows you into the kitchen.

“It’s nice to see everyone again.” She muses as you get bowls out from the cupboard. “It’s been years.”

“Yeah, I’m just meeting a few of these people for the first time.” You laugh, “But they seem lovely.”

Rebecca nods. “I met Phil a few years ago, and Sue and Andy even longer ago. Of course I’ve known Darius for decades.” She chuckles, spooning risotto into bowls.

“I’ve known Darius for longest too.” You muse, “In fact, I met him the same night I met Mish.”

“You’ll have to tell me that story someday.” She says. “It’s one to tell the grandkids.”

“Yep.” You say, grabbing two bowls of food. “I’ll take these through.”

 

After everyone’s had dinner, and Misha has opened his gifts (all of which he loved), you return to the kitchen to bring out the cake you baked. You bring it through into the dim lighting of the dining room and everyone starts singing happy birthday. You place the cake in front of Misha and kiss him chastely.

“Happy early-birthday.” You smile lovingly, sitting back down so he can blow out the candles.

West hops up onto your lap, “Remember to make a wish, Dad!” He says.

“Oh I will, West.” Misha replies, grinning.

He blows out the candles in one. “What did you wish for?” West asks.

“I can’t tell you or it won’t come true!” Misha replies, before adding quietly, “Plus I don’t really think it would be appropriate in our current company.” He winks at you.

He starts to cut slices of the cake and hands them around the table, before digging into one himself.

“How is it?” You ask.

“Mmph,” Misha groans. “If I wasn’t already full from dinner I would not have shared this.”

You laugh, “I’m glad you like it.”

Once he’s finished the cake, he opens the card you made him; a cartoon depicting Superman Misha, and Lois Lane you – with a few personalised touches like the Random Acts logo instead of Superman’s ‘S’.

“I love it.” He laughs and puts it aside, leaning back in his chair and sighing contentedly.

 

“Yeah, bye guys – call soon! I’d love to see the kids. Yep, goodnight!” You call to Darius and Liza, closing the front door and taking a deep breath; house finally free of visitors.

The kids have been put to bed and Misha is currently showering, so you slip into the bedroom and open your closet. A few days ago a certain garment in a shop window caught your eye and you decided it would be perfect for surprising Misha. You strip off your clothes and put on the black, lacy lingerie – before crawling to the middle of the bed and lying (your best attempt at) seductively.

A few minutes later you hear the shower stop running and Misha walks into the bedroom towelling off his hair – completely naked.

He double-takes when he sees you, before his lips twitch into a smirk. He silently closes and locks the door before throwing away the towel, running a hand through his hair.

“Hey.” He says, voice low, making his way over to you as his eyes roam over your body.

“Hi there.” You reply, sitting up to capture his lips in a soft kiss, hands roaming over his bare chest.

As the kiss heats up, Misha moves so he’s above you; arms supporting his weight on either side of you.

You can feel his hardness press into your thigh, so you pull down your panties; impatient.

Misha chuckles against your lips. “Eager?” He asks, rolling over to one side of the bed to retrieve a condom.

“More than.” You answer, and crawl after him.

Before Misha can even sit back up, you’re back on him.

 

Despite the frantic, fierce, start to the evening – that night you and Misha make love. Falling into his ocean-eyes; grasping desperately, sweaty hands as you both come.

“Happy birthday babe.” You say once you have your breath back, kissing his chest.

“Thank you,” He replies, stroking your hair. “I have to say – that was an unexpected, yet very welcome gift.” He chuckles.

“Well – it was my pleasure. Literally.”

He snorts, “I should hope so.” There’s a moment of silence before he adds, “Today was lovely too, though. Thank you.”

You smile happily against his chest. “That too, was my pleasure.”

 

About an hour later, you’re lying on your back, staring at the pitch-black ceiling.

It’s hot – August in California tends to be – and you can’t sleep; which means you’re replaying the day’s events in your head.

Something Rebecca brought up earlier is bothering you, though – so much so that your heart rate is picking up and your palms are starting to sweat. You take a deep breath and turn over to face Misha; his eyes are closed, but you’re pretty sure he’s not asleep yet.

“Mish?” You whisper.

“Mm hm?” He murmurs, eyes still closed.

“Can I talk to you for a sec?” You ask quietly.

“Sure, what’s wrong?”

“I didn’t want to do this today, but… I feel like I have to.” You start.

Misha turns over to face you and opens his eyes. Even in the dark you can see the worry in his eyes.

“It’s just… Ever since we were at Jensen’s, all those months ago, and you asked me if I ever think about babies – I… I feel like I’ve been lying to you.”

Misha frowns in concern.

Your eyes start to sting with tears of fearful anticipation. “I can’t have kids, Mish."