Actions

Work Header

Switched

Chapter Text

When Michele awoke, his entire body felt heavy. His head was pounding and he winced at the early morning light that poured through the hotel window like thousands of tiny, blazing daggers.

He threw his legs over the edge of the mattress, groaning at just how sore he was. Not even his hardest training days had left him like this. He stood up and wobbled, his head swimming for a moment before he caught his balance. Then he stepped forward and immediately stubbed his toe.

Pezzo di merda!” he cursed and bent down to pick up the object he’d run into. It was a text book, but not one of his. The dead giveaway was the fact that it was completely in Czech.

That’s when he remembered that he’d crashed in Emil’s room the night before, since the happy-go-lucky ball of sunshine had kept him out late at the club.

And then the memories came flooding back. The drinking. And the dancing. Oh, sweet God in heaven, the dancing. At one point it had become a competition. Who could lift their partner higher. He was pretty sure he and Emil had won. But Sara and Mila were laughing so hard, he might have to consider it a draw.

Michele tossed the book on top of the other’s suitcase and headed toward the bathroom. He needed a glass of water. Something to hold him over until he could get some real coffee.

He shuffled into the en suite. The moment his bare feet touched the frigid tile, he realized there was something else he needed to do. Still half-asleep, he tugged his pajama pants down, but just before he could relieve himself, he glanced up and saw another face in the mirror, staring right back at him.

“Emil!” he gasped, averting his eyes and quickly tucking himself back in. He should have closed the door, but he hadn’t thought the other would be up. When he’d left him, Emil was a motionless lump on the bed, buried under a pile of blankets. “You could have said something,” he muttered, his voice sounding strange to his own ears. 

Maybe he needed that glass of water more than he’d realized. Well, since the other was up, he could make himself useful.

“Emil, could you pass me that glass?” he asked, moving closer to the sink and holding his hand out. “Emil?” He turned, but the other man was nowhere to be found. Odd.

Michele poked his head out of the bathroom and saw that the lump was still snoring away under the covers. 

Had he gotten embarrassed and run back? It wasn’t like Emil to hide.

He shook his head and faced the mirror again, but when he did, he shrieked.

Half a second later, there was a rustling of sheets and a thump of someone falling onto the floor, followed by heavy footfalls on the plush carpet.

“Mickey, are you all right?!” Emil asked. At least, Michele figured it had to be Emil. Because there he was, looking up at Michele from Michele’s own body. 

Slowly, Michele turned back toward the mirror, Emil’s shocked, pale face staring right back at him. He didn’t know how it had happened. But he knew one thing for sure: They needed to figure out how to switch back. And soon.

Their flights home were scheduled to take off in a matter of hours.

Chapter Text

Emil was exhausted. More tired than he’d felt in a long time. It was like he’d gone rock climbing. Without his gear. Up Everest.

He was currently cocooned in blankets, enjoying the delicious warmth. He vaguely noticed the bed dipping as someone got off of it. He smiled softly to himself. Michele had agreed to stay in his room the night before.

Well, not agreed willingly so much as he was forced. They’d stayed out late. Much later than the others. And Michele didn’t want to wake Sara by coming back to their room at an ungodly hour, so he’d accepted Emil’s invitation to share his bed.

Of course, the first thing Michele had done was wrap himself up in blankets and sequester himself on the opposite side of the mattress, but it still counted.

Plus, there were a few other things they’d shared the night before. And maybe it was the drinks or the dancing, but whatever the reason, Emil would never forget the feel of Michele’s lips against his.

Their kiss count was going up. Now if only it would happen when Michele wasn’t tipsy. Then maybe Emil could confess properly and the two of them could…

Just then, Emil heard a horrified shriek. He’d know that scream anywhere! And, after getting tangled in the sheets and falling onto the ground. Hard. Emil picked himself back up and ran over to the bathroom.

“Mickey, are you all right?!” he panted, leaning heavily against the door. And maybe he was still asleep because the weird thing was, he was already in the bathroom, staring back at him with wide, horrified eyes. “Mickey?” he asked, his own voice sounding off.

“Emil…” Michele whimpered. Well, it had to be Michele, even if he looked very much like Emil at that moment. “What are we going to do?”

“Uh…” Emil stepped forward, shivering as the bottom of his feet touched the frigid tile of the bathroom floor. He reached out for Michele, but thought better of it, choosing instead to run a hand through his own hair. His still heavily gelled, short hair.

A quick glance in the mirror confirmed it. He was most definitely in Michele’s body.

“How could this have happened?” Michele lamented, bringing a hand up and tugging on his beard. 

Emil wondered that himself. But what he was more concerned with was a sudden urge. The amazing amount of drinks from the night before finally catching up with him. “Uh…Mickey?”

“What?” he hissed, his grumpy expression looking odd on Emil’s face.

“I…sorta…um…have to pee?” He offered weakly, eyes darting to the toilet.

Michele’s face paled and then flushed, his ears turning bright red - it was easier to tell with Emil’s lighter complexion. He shook his head. “No.”

“Mickey.”

Hold it.”

“Mickey!”

Chapter Text

After quite a bit of embarrassed yelling, awkward hand placements, and eyes squeezed tightly shut, Michele and Emil managed to…take care of business, as it were. And Michele, whose face was still burning, honestly hoped that they’d switch back before having to deal with any other bodily functions.

“So…should we shower or-”

“We’ll just get dressed,” Michele interrupted. Though his body - Emil’s body - was still sticky with dried sweat from all the dancing they’d done the night before.

But Emil didn’t argue. He did, however, give a little pout, which Michele did not care for.

“Stop doing that.” He frowned and Emil looked up.

“Doing what?” He blinked wide, confused violet eyes.

“Making that expression with my face.” Michele scowled further.

“Oh.” Emil chuckled and then drew his brows down, copying Michele. “Is this better?” he asked gruffly, the corners of his lips twitching as he resisted the urge to smile.

“Emil-” But Michele was interrupted by the shrill beeping of his phone from the other room. And it was then that he remembered they’d promised to join Sara and Mila for breakfast downstairs. “What time is it?” he hissed.

“I’m not sure.” Emil shrugged. “You’re wearing my watch.”

Michele sighed and lifted his wrist. “Shit,” he cursed. They were already late. “Let’s go,” he said, brushing past Emil and back into the bedroom.

“Like this?” Emil asked, catching Michele’s attention just before he reached the door.

Taking in a frustrated breath, Michele turned around. “Well, unless you know a way to switch us back, we’re going to have to go like this.” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“No, Mickey,” Emil began, pausing to stifle a laugh. “I meant, ya know, because we’re still in our pajamas.”

Michele looked down and blushed. At first it was because he was embarrassed about forgetting such an important detail, but then his flush darkened when he realized that they’d have to change and what that entailed.

He lifted his chin, his face completely serious. “Keep your eyes closed.”

And once they were done stumbling blindly around the room, the two managed to make it to the hotel’s restaurant, fully clothed, their cheeks still tinted pink.

Sara and Mila were already seated across from each other at a booth, their plates piled high with food from the buffet. And they deserved it. They’d placed, after all.

“There you are, Mickey!” Sara called, waving when she spotted them.

Michele ducked his head. He probably should have responded to her text to let her know they were on their way, but he’d been too busy trying not to accidentally get an eyeful of Emil’s naked body - which made putting on underwear quite difficult.

They walked over to the table and Michele had to stop himself from taking the empty seat beside Sara. He and Emil had discussed it in the elevator. Until they figured out what had happened and how to fix it, they were going to keep their little body swapping problem a secret.

Still, it pained him to see someone else so close to his sister. Even if it was his body.

“So, what kept you two?” Mila asked, poking Michele in the ribs and then resting her elbows on the table. “Stayed up too late, did we?” she teased.

“Emil forgot to set his alarm,” Emil answered, sounding very Michele-like. It was pretty believable, actually. Maybe they could do this, after all. They just had to make it through breakfast.

And anything Emil could do, Michele could certainly do better.

“Sorry, Mickey,” he said cheerfully, plastering on a big, goofy, Emil-grade smile. “But I thought we could use the rest.”

“Well, you’d better hurry up and get some food before they start setting up for lunch.” Mila snorted, picking up her orange juice and taking a sip.

“Right.” Emil stood up and Michele followed suit, but they both froze when Sara spoke.

“Hold on a second.” She looked at Emil. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

Emil shot Michele a silent plea for help, but Michele couldn’t offer any assistance. Not without giving them away.

“Am I?” Emil forced a smile.

“You come to breakfast late and you don’t even have the decency to greet me properly?” she asked, folding her arms over her chest and quirking a brow.

“Oh.” They both relaxed. “Sorry, Sara.” Emil bent down and placed a quick peck on Sara’s cheek, his eyes darting to Michele’s apologetically. “Buongiorno,” he breathed and Michele winced.

“Okay, What’s going on here?” Sara frowned.

“Going on?” Emil cleared his throat, backing away from her.

Buongiorno?” she mimicked his butchered pronunciation. “Who are you and what have you done with my brother?”

Chapter Text

Emil had certainly done it now. He’d flown too close to the sun on Mickey’s skates. Wait...that wasn’t quite right, but nevertheless, he’d screwed up royally. And he’d been practicing, too.

Though, he figured, it was really only a matter of time before Sara realized the Michele standing before her wasn’t actually her brother. No matter how well he knew the Crispinos, not even Emil could mimic the other perfectly.

“Well?” Sara waited, arching a brow, her arms still folded over her chest. “I’m waiting.”

“Uh...” Emil floundered, gaze darting over to Michele’s before returning to hers. “Sara, I-”

“What are you talking about?” Mila interrupted. “Who else would he be?”

Emil breathed out a relieved sigh and saw Michele do the same in his periphery. If they could just make it through breakfast, they could ditch the girls, head back to the room, and start trying to figure out how to switch back.

“You’re right, Mila,” Sara said. “Who else, indeed.” She looked away from the other girl and stared into Emil’s eyes, her gaze unbelievably intense. “Mickey.”

Emil swallowed thickly. “...Yes?”

“When we were eleven years old, there was a boy in the neighborhood who had a crush on me,” she began, not looking away. “He cornered me after school and kissed me. What was his na-”

“The hell he did!” Michele roared and it sounded odd in Emil’s voice. “Marco De Luca, that bastard! I’ll kill him! I’ll-” but he froze when he noticed everyone’s eyes on him. “I mean...”

Emil slapped a palm to his forehead.

“Ah ha!” Sara smirked. “Well, I can’t say that I saw that coming, but I just knew Mickey wasn’t himself.” She looked between them. “But if you’re Mickey,” she pointed to him and then glanced back at Emil. “Does that mean...?”

“Yeah,” Emil admitted, hanging his head.

“Don’t slouch,” Michele barked, not bothering to pretend to be Emil anymore, now that their cover was blown. “I don’t need you ruining my posture.”

“Holy crap...” Mila blinked and stood up slowly. “You two...”

“Switched bodies,” Emil finished for her before clearing his throat and rubbing the back of his neck.

“How?” Sara asked, looking no less shocked than Mila, but all the more interested.

“We...uh...” Emil looked to Michele for help.

“We’re not sure...exactly,” he answered.

“Well, you need to switch back,” Sara said, throwing her hands up. “Our flight home leaves in six hours and I can’t very well take Emil home with me.”

“Damn right, you can’t!” Michele shot a glare his way and Emil placed a hand over his heart. Did he honestly think he’d try something on his sister...in his body?

“Mickey...”

“There’s only one thing to do,” Mila said, having finally recovered. They all faced her, eyebrows raised. “We need to hurry up and find a cure.”

Chapter Text

“Absolutely not!” Michele barked, crossing his arms over his chest. Well, Emil’s chest, but whatever.

“Why not?” Mila asked as both she and Sara pouted.

“Because it’s dangerous!” he snapped and then looked to Emil for help. “Tell them, Emil.”

The other man cleared his throat, ducking his head a bit - a nervous habit that Michele usually found cute, but didn’t care much to see from his own body - and then finally replied. “It does sound a bit dangerous, Mila.”

“Et tu, Emil?” the redhead lamented with an over-exaggerated sigh. “We’re running out of cures, here.”

“Yes, but I don’t think going to the roof and getting struck by lightning is going to fix this,” Michele said, gesturing between them. He wanted to get back into his body just as much as the next guy, but he certainly didn’t want to run the risk of being electrocuted. “Besides,” he added, “there isn’t a cloud in the sky.”

“Fine.” Mila folded her arms and glanced over at Sara. “You got any ideas?”

A slow smile spread on his sister’s lips as she answered. “I do, actually.”

Oh no.

“Mickey,” she began, cocking her head to the side. “You’re sure you don’t remember how you two switched in the first place?”

“If I did, don’t you think I would have told you?” He quirked a brow.

“It would make it easier to switch back if we knew,” Mila agreed. “I’m sure he wouldn’t keep it to himself,” she paused, “no matter how embarrassing.”

“Why do you two keep talking like you know something we don’t?” Emil asked, chuckling nervously - not a good look on Michele’s face, Michele thought.

“We don’t,” Sara promised. “I just have my theories.”

“Well, spit them out, Sara,” Michele said, getting annoyed. “We’re running out of time.”

“Of course, Mickey.” She smiled again and it made him want to swallow his words. “We’ve tried a lot of crazy cures-”

“Thank you, tvtropes.org,” Mila snorted.

“But why not go with the age-old, standard cure-all?” Sara smirked.

Emil caught Michele’s attention and gave a little shrug. “Might as well give it a try?” he offered and Michele begrudgingly accepted with a curt nod.

“Fine.”

“Good.” Sara clapped her hands excitedly, her wicked grin returning. “True love’s kiss.”

Michele nearly choked on his spit. He whipped his head toward Emil to find the other man similarly taken aback, his face bright red, despite Michele’s darker complexion.

“What?” Michele managed.

“You heard me,” Sara said, she and Mila exchanging knowing looks. “Now, pucker up.”

“Sara,” he started, knowing his blush rivaled Emil’s, what with the other’s pale skin. “I…we-”

“Don’t act as though you’ve never done it,” Sara accused. Out of the corner of his eye, Michele saw Emil blink in surprise. Sara turned toward him and winked. “Mickey tells me everything.”

“Plus,” Mila interjected, “we all saw you two making out on the dance floor last night, so-”

“We were not!” Michele gasped, but then paused, trying to remember. They were definitely at a club, and there was some drinking, and a dance battle. Sara and Mila left and then… His face flushed impossibly hotter. “W-Well…never mind!”

“Let’s just do it,” Emil said and Michele snapped his head up, staring at him with wide eyes. Emil was looking at him, a serious expression on Michele’s own face, but there was still a telltale blush high on his cheeks. “It might help us switch back.”

Loath as Michele was to participate in public displays of affection, he knew they were right. It was worth a try. Besides, they were in the privacy of Emil’s room. He swallowed and nodded, surprised to see Emil’s shoulders relax and a bright smile grace his features - again, odd on Michele’s face.

“But you two have to face the other way,” Michele ordered, pointing at the girls.

“What? Seriously?” Mila pouted. “You’re no fun, Mickey.”

“Sara…” he whined, shooting his sister a pleading look.

“Fine.” She shook her head. “Let’s look this way, Mila.” She placed a hand on the other girl’s shoulder and turned so they were both facing the wall. “Okay, go ahead.”

Michele swallowed again, barely able to meet Emil’s sheepish gaze. “All right,” he breathed. “You close your eyes, too.”

“Me?” Emil raised an eyebrow. “But how will I-”

“Do you really want to kiss yourself?” Michele asked with a frown. Emil shook his head and he continued. “I’ll do all the work, so…just wait.”

Emil nodded and closed his eyes.

Michele leaned forward, taking a deep breath. It was surreal to see his own face in front of him, eyes closed and lips puckered, waiting to be kissed. Was that what he looked like? Surely not. 

Deciding he couldn’t do it like this, he placed a hand over Emil’s eyes, ignoring the other’s surprised squawk, and closed the distance between them, pressing their lips together in a chaste, though lingering kiss.

It was nice, actually. He did like the feel of Emil’s mouth on his, even if it was a little backwards.

But, when he pulled back, he was disappointed to see his own face staring back at him, violet eyes blinking in confusion.

“Shit,” he cursed and then glanced over to the side to see both Sara and Mila staring at them.

“Hmm, I thought that would work,” Sara mused, bringing a finger to her lips.

“Well, back to the list.” Mila pulled out her phone. “Let’s see…fortune cookies,” she read aloud. “I think there’s a Chinese restaurant downstairs.”

“Mila-” Emil began, but was interrupted.

“Let’s go!” Sara chimed in and the two began heading for the door.

“Wait!” Michele called and then turned back.

“What?”

“What about us?” He looked at Emil. “We can’t go anywhere like this.”

“Sure you can,” Mila assured them.

“But what if we run into someone we know?” Emil offered and Michele was thankful he’d taken his side.

“Well,” Sara made a show of thinking it over. “You’ll just have to pretend to be each other, now won’t you?” Then she snickered. “Just don’t try speaking Italian again, Emil.”

Chapter Text

Emil was honestly still reeling from the kiss as he followed the others out of the hotel room. He and Michele had shared too many to count - seven, now…not that he was keeping track - and Emil wondered if this was a good time to confess.

Though, he’d much rather do so in his own body.

Michele strode forward with a purpose, as usual, but with his slightly longer legs - Emil’s legs - his pace was even harder to match.

“Slow down, Mick-” Sara began, but then caught herself. “Emil, wait up!” she called cheerily. Michele stopped and turned toward them, his arms folded over his chest and his brows drawn down. “And stop scowling,” Sara whispered harshly, though they were the only ones in the hallway, “Emil doesn’t scowl.”

Emil bit back a chuckle at the indignant noise Michele made in response before he started spouting out something in Italian. He was speaking very quickly and Emil wasn’t fluent, but he definitely recognized some…choice words.

“You two need to stop arguing,” Mila stepped between the Crispinos, pressing her hands to their chests and separating them. “Emil doesn’t argue with Sara,” she started and then snorted. “Actually, Emil doesn’t argue with anyone.”

He probably should have taken offense to that. It wasn’t like Emil was some doormat, right? But he decided there was enough drama going on in the hallway without him having to defend his peaceful, friendly way of life.

“Okay, so I’m pretty sure the Chinese restaurant is in the lobby,” Mila mused as they stepped into one of the elevators. “We just need to make it past the fountains, the buffet, the gift shop, and the front desk. Easy.” She beamed.

Easy,” Michele echoed and rolled his eyes.

“I have to agree with Mickey,” Emil added, ignoring the knowing look the girls exchanged. “That’s quite a distance.”

“Emil,” Sara said, staring up at him. “You know Mickey almost as well as I do.” She placed a hand on his shoulder. “You nearly had me convinced this morning.”

“Until you butchered our mother tongue,” Michele added, arms having folded themselves over his chest once again.

“Geez, you two.” Mila sighed. “It wasn’t that bad.”

“His accent was completely off,” Michele continued. And if Emil wasn’t already actively trying to diffuse the tension, he would have argued that Michele’s Czech left something to be desired. But perhaps that was the lack of proper sleep and the whole ‘switching bodies with the man you not-so-secretly have a crush on’ thing talking.

“You’re one to talk,” Sara interrupted whatever Michele had started to say after that. “At least Emil makes a believable you!” she said, poking him in the chest with her index finger. “Meanwhile, you’re continuing to be your grumpy self!”

Emil glanced over at Mila and she nodded. Then they braced themselves for the patented Michele Crispino Temper Tantrum. But it never came. Instead, he uncrossed his arms, lifting a hand to Sara’s cheek and caressing it gently.

“You’re right, Sara,” he whispered, moving to comb his fingers through her long hair. “I’m sorry.” He leaned forward, a little lower than he usually had to, and pressed his forehead to hers. “I’ll try to-”

But just then, the elevator doors opened with a ‘ding.’ And there, frozen in mid-conversation, with their eyes wide, were none other than Victor and Yuuri, their gazes drifting from Sara’s close proximity to Emil’s body, over to Emil and back.

Oh. Right.

Emil cleared his throat, ready to defend his ‘sister’s’ honor. And as he raised his voice and shouted in his own face, he wondered just how many of their friends they’d run into on the way to the restaurant.

Chapter Text

Michele was both shocked and impressed. Emil certainly did ‘make a good him’ as Sara had put it. And, after apologizing profusely - and doing a fine job impersonating Emil, he thought - they shuffled out of the elevator.

Victor and Yuuri hadn’t said anything to them, though the former did whisper something to Mila, who just laughed it off as he doors closed.

“That was close,” Emil said, letting out a breath. “Sorry I had to shout at you, Mickey.”

“You don’t have to apologize!” Sara gushed, stepping between them and putting a hand on Emil’s shoulder. “It’s Mickey’s fault that you had to act like that, anyway.”

“Hey…” he grumbled, but didn’t argue. She wasn’t wrong.

“Anyway.” Mila stepped forward, linking her arm with Sara’s. “Shall we head to the Chinese restaurant?”

Michele still doubted the existence of a magical, mystical fortune cookie that could somehow switch his and Emil’s bodies back, but, then again, before today, he wouldn’t have believed it possible to swap in the first place.

“I sure hope this works,” Emil said from beside him. “I’m sure you want to get your body back, Mickey.” He sounded so apologetic. But it wasn’t as if it was Emil’s fault.

“You, as well,” Michele replied and then cleared his throat. Only moments ago, Emil was screaming at him. And the whole time, ridiculous as it was, he kept thinking back to the kiss they’d shared in the hotel room.

That hadn’t succeeded in switching them back either, but it reminded him of the many, many kisses from the night before. It was all coming back to him, clearer than when he’d first groggily pulled himself out of bed.

If only he could remember what else had happened last night. Maybe the girls were right and they had done something to cause the swap in the first place.

His thoughts were interrupted when someone - Sara - elbowed him in the ribs. “Oww. What?” he hissed and then blinked when she pointed forward.

Just ahead of them were Otabek and Leo, the latter waving cheerfully and beckoning him over.

“They’re calling you, Emil,” Sara whispered, unable to cover up a giggle.

“What do they want?” he directed toward the real Emil, who just smiled before rearranging his expression into one that was more Michele-like.

“Probably just to say ‘hello,’ Mickey,” he answered. “Or maybe share some cool music.”

Michele faltered, suddenly nervous. “Are you…close with them?” he asked, ignoring the odd feeling that twisted in his chest.

Emil shrugged. “I guess.”

“Emil!” Leo called again and Michele squared his shoulders, giving the others one last uncertain glance before he walked over. “Emil!” Leo cheered when he arrived. “Nice job yesterday.”

“Yes, you performed well,” Otabek added.

Michele stood there, unsure what to say. “Thanks,” he decided and then rubbed the back of his neck. “You guys, too.”

“Oh, before I forget!” Leo pulled out his phone. “I found this old Eurobeat song that I think you’re going to love!” He chuckled and held out an earbud. Michele hesitated before taking it. “Otabek said he wouldn’t be caught dead playing it, but-”

“I didn’t say that.” Otabek frowned. “I simply said-”

“Beka! There you are!” Yuri appeared out of nowhere. “We’re going to be late.” He tugged on his arm and then his gaze shifted to Michele. “What are you looking at?”

Michele just raised his brows, but said nothing as they disappeared past the fountain and toward the lobby.

“So,” Leo caught his attention. “What do you think? A classic, right?”

“Uh…” But Michele was at a loss. Thankfully, it seemed as though Leo had somewhere else to be. A message popped up on his phone and he smiled as he read it.

“I’ll see you later, Emil!” he called over his shoulder before he, too, vanished.

Michele heaved a sigh of relief, glad it was finally over. But he jolted when a large hand fell on his shoulder.

“Emil!” A tall man circled around him, followed by two others, equally as large. They said a few things in Czech and Michele swallowed, his heart thudding in his chest. “I’ve been working on my English,” he continued. “How’s it sound? Good right?”

“He doesn’t care about that!” another joined in. “We happened to be visiting and caught your performance.”

“We didn’t want to tell you, in case you got nervous or something,” the third added with a big grin.

“…Th-Thanks…” Michele managed. He’d never met these men before. They were obviously friends of Emil’s from back home.

“Hey! Isn’t that your Mickey back there?” The first one pointed. Michele turned and saw Emil - with his face, of course - staring, wide-eyed at the four of them, with a look of complete panic.

“Yeah! It is!” the second agreed. “He is cute, Emil.”

Wait. What?

“Shame he’s stringing you along.” The third clicked his tongue, shaking his head.

Michele blinked. “Excuse me?” He furrowed his brow.

“Didn’t you say…” the third trailed off, lowering his voice. “He is the one you keep kissing, right?”

“Come off it!” The second slapped the third hard on the shoulder. “Emil doesn’t just go around kissing everyone. Of course, it’s him.” He turned to face Michele. “Right?”

Michele was frozen in place. Emil had told people about their kisses?!

Of course, it wasn’t as if Michele had a right to be upset. He’d told Sara, after all. But still! These men - who he’d never even heard of - knew about such private things between them?

“Maybe it’s time you cut him loose,” the first interrupted Michele’s train of thought. “Seems like he’s playing you.”

Michele frowned. “Playing…?”

“C’mon, Emil.” Michele was roughly shoved, perhaps playfully, and then slapped on the back. “You’ve had plenty of chances to confess, right?”

Confess? Emil?

Michele whipped his head around. Emil was now making his way over, pulling his arms free from Mila and Sara’s grasp.

“Anyway, looks like he’s headed this way,” one said - Michele wasn’t sure which. “We’re going to go back to sightseeing.”

“Take care, Emil! See you at home!”

And then they were gone.

“Mickey!” Emil placed a hand on his shoulder. “Mickey, don’t mind them.” His fingers were trembling. “They didn’t…say anything weird, did they?”

Michele turned to face him, searching his eyes for the truth. “Emil,” he began, his tongue coming out to wet his lips. “Do you think I’m playing you?”

Chapter Text

Oh no.  

Oh no, no, no.

This was impossible. Why were they here, of all places?

Emil wracked his brain, trying to remember if his friends from college had mentioned anything about coming to his competition. His mom had said something over the phone about saying ‘hi,’ but he hadn’t assumed it would be in person!

And now, here they were, talking to Michele. Oh, the things they knew!!

Well, it wasn’t like Emil had gone home and put out a broadcast every time he and Michele had kissed. But they’d gotten it out of him one night and...oh, if they said anything, it was all over! Michele would flip out!

So, Emil made his way over to Michele in his body. But, by the time he arrived, his friends had left. “Mickey!” He placed a hand on the other’s shoulder, panic rising up in the back of his throat. But he had to play it cool.  “They didn’t…say anything weird, did they?”

Michele just turned toward him, his eyes wide. “Emil,” he began, his tongue coming out to wet his lips. “Do you think I’m playing you?”

Playing? Him? Oh, what Emil wouldn’t have given to know what his friends had said. Then he would have some inkling as to what was going through Michele’s head right then.

“What?” was all he managed to get out before he choked on the very air around them.

“Your friends...” He looked down, the tips of his ears turning red - more obvious with Emil’s lighter skin tone. “They seem to think that I’m playing you.”

So, that’s what they’d said. Emil couldn’t believe it. They’d always been supportive - more or less. Why had they chosen this moment to try and talk Emil - or Michele, in this case - out of going for it?

“I’m...not.” Michele chewed on his bottom lip. “I mean...I don’t mean to be.” He glanced up through shaggy bangs. “Do you think I am?”

Whoa. That was a tough question to answer. On the one hand, Emil was happy that Michele and he had shared kisses and, being a patient man, he was content to wait until Michele was ready before they made anything official. But on the other, Emil was getting just the slightest bit frustrated. Not with Michele, but with himself for not confessing already.

“Mickey-”

“Thank goodness, they’ve gone!” Mila sighed as she and Sara made their way over. “Geez, Emil. You sure are a popular guy.”

Emil, the actual Emil, mind you, released the breath he’d been holding. It seemed as though the girls hadn’t heard any of the conversation. At least he didn’t have to worry about their meddling - sorry, Sara and Mila! - though, it would force him to face the situation head on, instead of continuing to dance around it.

“We’re nearly to the restaurant,” Mila continued, oblivious to the tension in the air. “Let’s see if the magic fortune cookie thing works!”

“Mila,” Sara interrupted. “You know I’m willing to try anything at this point,” she began, checking her watch. “But our flight leaves in four hours.”

“Then, we’ll have to hope that this works.” Mila shrugged.

Emil didn’t have high hopes, considering Mila was basing this entire theory on the plot from a movie. But, it was worth a shot.

Michele was quiet for the rest of the walk and Emil couldn’t blame him. He wanted to reach out and wrap an arm around him, but that wasn’t a very Mickey-like thing to do, so he clenched his fist at his side, fighting the urge.

It was still early and the restaurant wasn’t open to the public yet, but there were a few servers changing out menus and setting the tables. Sara flagged one down and requested two fortune cookies. The server quirked an eyebrow, but brought them out, still in the wrapper, but on a small tray.

“Thank you!” Sara waved and then turned toward Emil and Michele. “Moment of truth two-point-oh,” she said, biting her lip.

They each took one. Emil looked over, but Michele’s eyes were still downcast, even as he removed the plastic and placed it back on the tray. Frowning, Emil did the same.

“Okay, open them together,” Mila instructed and they did as they were told.

Emil broke his open and pulled out the fortune.

You already know the answer to the question lingering inside your head.

Well, that wasn’t exactly helpful. However, when he turned to face Michele, he was floored. There were tears streaming down his cheeks.

“Mickey, what’s wro-”

"Emil," he began, dropping his fortune as he drew closer. He lifted his hands, both hovering on either side of Emil's head before he let them come to rest on his cheeks. "Emil, I..." He swallowed and took a deep breath, looking him right in the eye. "I love you." And then he pressed their lips together for the second time that day. 

Chapter Text

Michele waited for him to answer. Did Emil really think he was playing him? Was he playing him? Looking back, it was suspicious. They’d kissed, several times, in fact. And yet...there was no moving on from that. Michele had been grateful, since it meant he didn’t have to face what he’d done.

But was he hurting Emil by still avoiding the subject after all this time?

Unfortunately, Emil didn’t get to answer. Mila had interrupted, teasing them a bit before they returned to their original mission: making it through the lobby and to the Chinese restaurant without any further delay.

Michele was in a fog as they walked. He stared at the ground, the voices around him muffled like he was hearing them through a thick glass dome. But the things Emil’s friends had said echoed in his ears, clear as day.

He’d spent a lot of time - more than he’d care to admit - thinking about all that he and Emil had shared. The first time they’d accidentally kissed, and Michele had subsequently run away, he was mortified. But, when the opportunity arose again, he’d waited, holding his breath as Emil leaned closer, his mouth tasting like the sweet mixed drink he’d ordered, but also like something else. Something much sweeter.

Michele wouldn’t say that his kisses with Emil were guilty pleasures. They were pleasurable, yes, and he certainly felt guilty the following morning, but...

But they were more than that. They were confessions never uttered. Feelings poorly expressed. They were hints at something more. And it terrified him.

What if Emil found out about his feelings? What then? Would he accept them like his easy, late-night kisses? Or would he laugh - No. Michele wouldn’t even finish that thought. Emil would never hurt him in that way.

Not like Michele had been hurting him.

“Thank you!” Sara called loudly, pulling him from his reverie. She waved at the server and then turned toward Michele and Emil. “Moment of truth two-point-oh,” she said, biting her lip and holding out a tray with two fortune cookies on it.

Michele didn’t even look up at Emil. He couldn’t meet his eyes after realizing what he’d been doing. What he’d done. 

He unwrapped the cookie and cracked it open, pulling out the fortune. As he read it, his eyes went wide.

There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved. 

That was it. It wasn’t about being afraid. And it wasn’t about worrying over every detail. He loved Emil.

He was in love with Emil. 

It was so obvious that it was stupid. How could he have not realized such a simple fact? His feelings weren’t all that complicated.

Michele turned toward Emil, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Emil gasped, his brow furrowing in concern. “Mickey, what’s wro-”

“Emil,” Michele began, dropping his fortune as he drew closer. He lifted his hands, both hovering on either side of Emil’s head before he let them come to rest on his cheeks. “Emil, I…” He swallowed and took a deep breath, looking him right in the eye. “I love you.”

And then he kissed him. And, oh, Emil was kissing back, wrapping his arms around Michele’s waist and smiling against his lips. 

“Mickey,” Emil replied, voice muffled by their kiss. “I love you, too.”

Michele didn’t know when he’d closed his eyes, but they fluttered open when Emil pulled back, panting against his open mouth.

“Mickey,” he sighed, smiling down at him. His dark blue eyes sparkling in the light.

Wait a moment. Blue eyes?

Michele blinked in order to focus, his vision still a little hazy from lack of breath. He stared up at Emil, slowly moving one of his hands from the side of Emil’s head to pinch the other’s cheek. “You’re you,” he said, astonished.

Emil smiled, the backs of his fingers brushing along Michele’s jaw. “And you’re you.”

“It worked!” Mila shouted, drawing them out of their own little world. “Hah! I told you!” She gave Sara a hug and an audible smooch on the cheek.

“Yes,” Sara giggled, pushing the other girl off, but linking their hands before she got too far away. “Good job.”

“So, it was the fortune cookies, after all.” Mila bobbed her head as if agreeing with herself. “I’m a genius.”

“I won’t argue that last part,” Sara said and then looked directly at Michele, whose cheeks heated under her gaze. “But I’m not so sure it was just the cookies.”

“Well, I’m just glad to be back in my own body,” Emil said, placing an arm over Michele’s shoulders. “But if the answer was a kiss like that...” He raked his teeth over his bottom lip. “I’d gladly swap back and do it again.”

“Obviously, there’s no need,” Michele said with a frown and Emil’s face fell. But then Michele moved closer, wrapping an arm around the other’s waist. “We don’t need to swap. You can,” he swallowed, cheeks warm. “You can kiss me whenever you’d like.”

For the first time since Michele had met him, Emil was stunned to silence. But, always a quick one to recover, Emil blinked. “Really?”

“Yeah.” Michele shifted his weight. “We’re dating, right?”

“Oh.” Emil flushed bright red to the tips of his ears. “Um...is that okay?”

“Well, you love me and I l-love you, so...” Michele trailed off, but, thankfully, Sara stepped in.

“Finally!” she cheered. She placed a hand on Michele’s shoulder. “See? All you had to do was confess!”

“And don’t forget the fortune cookies!” Mila chimed in.

“Yes, the fortune cookies...helped,” Sara placated. “Anyway,” she continued with a slight shake of her head. “We have a bit before we need to go to the airport. What shall we do?”

Michele knew what he’d like to do, but he was unsure if he had the ability to vocalize it. He’d run out of steam after so many embarrassing moments.

“If it’s alright with you ladies, I think Mickey and I should head back to the room,” Emil said and Michele turned toward him, eyes wide. “We need to get our things together and...” He glanced over at Michele, a sheepish smile on his lips. “We should probably kiss again. Just to make sure it took.”

“Oh, of course!” Sara winked. “We wouldn’t want you to switching back, now would we?” She placed her hands on Mila’s shoulders and steered her back toward the elevators. “C’mon, Mila. Let’s give them some privacy.”

“Ugh, fine.” She sighed, looking longingly over her shoulder. “But now I really want Chinese food.”

Michele and Emil watched them go. Then Emil leaned over and gently nudged Michele with his elbow. “I hope you didn’t mind that. I...uh..just thought-”

He cut him off with a kiss, loving the dopey little smile it put on Emil’s face. “I don’t mind.” He grinned. “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

Chapter Text

Sara stretched her legs out, her toes brushing under the seat in front of her. First class would have been nicer, but she didn’t mind the switch. She was just happy that the airline had let them change their itinerary at such short notice.

It was only right that, after finally admitting their feelings for each other, Michele and Emil had more than just a couple hours to celebrate.

The flight attendants were moving along the rows, checking to make sure that all the passengers were ready for takeoff.

Sara was looking out the window, completely lost in though, when she felt a hand on hers, giving it a little squeeze. She squeezed back and smiled.

“I’m just so proud,” she breathed. Never in her life would she have thought her stubborn brother would admit his feelings to Emil, let alone practically scream his confession and kiss him in the middle of a hotel lobby.

Of course, she didn’t think her brother would swap bodies with him either.

“Good going, Big Brother,” she whispered and then turned to the side. “Do you think they made their flight?”

“I can’t be sure,” Mila replied, brushing her thumb over Sara’s knuckles in a soothing fashion. “We probably should have called their hotel room or gotten them a wake-up call.”

“Yeah,” Sara agreed. “They were making up for a lot of lost time,” she mused. “They probably fell back asleep the moment we left.”

“And after you worked so hard to make sure Emil got your seat beside Mickey.” Mila shook her head. “Those boys...”

Sara chuckled and then leaned her head on Mila’s shoulder, wondering how the two were going to explain missing their flight to the entirety of the Crispino family waiting for them at the airport. Those boys...