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..What is this?

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Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzz-

“Hell-“

“SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN”

Michael’s face twists with pain as he pulls his phone away from him before his right eardrum shatters into pieces, but it lights up with an ear-to-ear grin as soon as he recognizes the voice on the other end of the line. He stands up from the couch, so genuinely pleased to hear her he can no longer sit still.

“Oh my god, Lizzy! It’s been ages!”

He can hear her laughing, but honestly, he can see it too.

“Yeah, I know! I’ve just been so busy lately and I meant to text you but then I thought what the hell he must be real busy too, I mean, you always kind of are, and then time passed and I felt like an idiot for not keeping in touch but hey, why are you blaming it on me, you didn’t keep in touch either, you bastard!”

“Lizzy dear, you’re doing everything yourself”

“Like the strong, independent woman I am, Michael”

Lizzy takes a second to just enjoy the low rumble of Michael’s laugh coming from her speaker, before she hears him breathe in.

“So.. to what do I owe the pleasure? Why now?”

“Uhm, well, I’m in London right now and I thought I would give you a call, you know, to see if maybe you had a couple of hours to ‘grab a pint’ or something”

A beat.

“Lizzy what the fuck”

“…what do you mean ‘what the fuck’”

It’s not even a question, she forgets to put the question mark in her voice as a pang of panic rushes through her body. She just assumed he would be fairly happy to see her. Oh god.

“…Lizzy, you’re in London and you say it like you just told me about the groceries you bought yesterday? This is fantastic! Why are you telling me just now?!”

A wave of relief washes over Lizzy, and the embarrassed flush that was creeping up her neck settles into a warm tingle spreading to her cheeks as she shoves her fond smile into the scarf covering her chin.

“Okay, so, that’s it. I’m taking you out tonight, I know a cool place. I’ll come pick you up, just text me the address and I’ll be there, say.. by ten pm?”

“Yeah, sounds cool”

“Great. Yeah, cool, great. See you later then!”

When the phone call ends, Lizzy’s left with a warm, buzzing feeling swirling all over her chest. She really did miss him.

 

The ‘cool place’ Michael talked about turns out to be just ye olde typical English pub, all polished hardwood and ale and a soccer match idly passing by on the TV. What’s really great about this place is that apparently the owner knows Michael, Lizzy deduces from the small nod the man gives him as soon as they step inside, and that Michael is a regular, which she deduces from the way he just makes his way towards a very specific table at the far end of the room, without even looking around once.

They settle in their booth, facing each other, and despite the initial awkwardness caused by not having seen each other in months, it takes them no time at all to just start babbling endlessly, taking turns to tell the other about current projects, future projects, expectations, hopes and dreams and whatever comes to their mind really, all the way down to the groceries they bought the day before.

As the more urgent things are out the way and the old atmosphere settles back between them, Lizzy starts to feel pleasantly buzzed, but she can tell it’s not because of the beer: it’s.. just Michael, and she starts laughing that tired kind of laugh, the one that just goes on forever and you can’t tell why you’re laughing anymore, you just know that your cheeks hurt and you don’t know how to stop. Michael’s eyes twinkle with sleepiness too, and he giggles with his lips wrapped over the rim of his pint, trying to take a sip of the golden liquid as muffled laughter rattles his chest and, of course, makes him choke on it before he’s able to swallow it down.

By midnight, they drank one beer each, and Michael’s leaning back, sprawled with his shoulders against the back of the booth and his legs wide on each side of Lizzy’s, while Lizzy’s chin rests on her arms, crossed on the cool surface of their table. She stares at the lazy smile plastered on her friend’s face, wanting to smile too despite feeling like she ran a marathon using her face muscles only. Michael sighs and looks down at her, at her lips pushed out, making her look like a 5 year old waiting for her mom to be done talking to one of her friends. He huffs out a laugh and she grins at him when he levels with her, resting his cheek on crossed arms too.

“So”

Michael mumbles with his face squished against his sleeve.

“Sssssso.”

“You wanna get outta here?”

“Mmh-Hmm Sheen, I thought you would have way better moves than this one, up that fancy sleeve of yours”

“Mpfffffff. Shut up. C’mon, let’s go.”

Michael looks at Lizzy while they both haphazardly put their coats on, goofy and grumbly like high schoolers who just woke up.

As she walks out from the pub first, Lizzy’s swallowed by a cold shroud that washes away part of her groggyness, but not the warm and steady glow that sits quiet between her lungs, purring and stirring like a big, fat, happy cat.

Her hotel, as it turned out, is actually very close to the place they went to, and she feels like a good walk might be the best right now, since she’s been sitting down almost all day and she feels like she’s eighty years old.

“You sure? My car’s right there, I really don’t mind driving you”

Lizzy looks up into her friend’s eyes and she loves the honest concern she sees there, and she loves that he didn’t make the ‘or do you really wanna get away from me that bad’ joke. She doesn’t even know why. She just does.

“Nah, I really need to get my legs moving a little bit, besides, there’s still a hell of a lot of people around, so I’m pretty sure I won’t get mugged or anything.. and I’m not famous enough to get harassed. Should be cool.”

She throws one last smile in and he meets it with another one in turn, as they get closer to say their goodbyes.

“It was so good to see you Lizzy, really, we shouldn’t go so long without hanging out sometimes”

“Yeah no I know, it was pretty stupid of us”

It all still feels light and friendly, as warm as it’s always been between them, just like time hasn’t passed at all. And it’s cliché and cheesy, but Lizzy really couldn’t care less.

So she leans in, and she closes her eyes, feeling Michael’s arms around her back, the steady rise and fall of his chest anticipating his breath making its way between her scarf and hair, landing on her neck, and a wave of his cologne hugs her brain for a second while she absently registers the soft brush of lips against her cheek. She turns her head an inch, the inch that takes to meet those lips with her own, breathing in through her nose before closing in, one of Michael’s hands cupping the back of her neck as he opens his mouth, tongues sliding against each other like they’ve been doing that every single day they’ve been around each other.

Just like that, Lizzy doesn’t even have a part of her brain to argue with, because no objection is brought up by any part of her conscience: he’s with Sarah, she knows. They’re friends and colleagues and friends do not usually make out outside of pubs after hanging out, she knows that too, yeah. The possibility of awkwardness and their relationship potentially going down in ruins is extremely high, and the longer they go on, the herder it’ll be to explain it when they finally let go. Because they have to let go, haven’t they?

Then why is Michael reaching up and tugging her scarf down so he can tilt his face to the side and lick deeper in Lizzy’s mouth, the wet drag of his lips on her lower one making her lean more into him, grab a fistful of his coat’s lapels and slowly pulling him as close as possible.

They break apart after a good, long minute, but they stay close enough that the tip of their noses are still touching, and they vaguely sway in the cold like there’s music playing somewhere in the distance.

Michael licks his lower lip and clicks his tongue, before looking up and letting out a small laugh, and that’s how Lizzy knows they’re fairly okay. For now.

“I’m sorry, I have to ask Liz: what is this?”

“Well, we just made out for quite a while”

“Right”

“Yep”

Michael’s hand is still firmly snug just below Lizzy’s hairline, on her nape, the other one resting on her right hip. Lizzy’s fists are still curled around the fabric of Michael’s coat, and now they’re looking into each other’s eyes to check if whatever it was that pushed them together is still there.

It’s not even five seconds before Michael inches closer again, mouth hanging slightly open as he takes a step further, driving Lizzy towards the wall.

“Can we do that some more?”

He breathes out more than asks, dampening the air that Lizzy sucks in and staining it with beer and impatience, and Lizzy guesses it would just be better to kiss him again instead of spoiling whatever this is with words.

She lets herself fall back and thump into the brick wall behind her as Michael follows her with a grin that makes Lizzy’s tongue bump into his teeth, and she laughs, ducking his next kiss, which lands hot and hurried on the corner of her mouth. Michael’s hand slides up her neck and settles against her cheek, holding her still so he can trail small kisses all along her lips down to the opposite corner of them. He lingers there until it’s Lizzy who claims him, open mouthed and sloppy, wrapping her arms around his neck and groaning into him, somewhere between frustrated and pleased. Michael’s other hand snakes inside Lizzy’s coat and rests on her hip again, more of her body’s heat meeting it this time, and he flexes his fingers against cloth and flesh until he feels the vague resistance of bone beneath it all, the thought of her skin so close making him bite lightly into her upper lip. She lets out a short gasp before breaking away again, looking up at him as she stops the involuntary rock of her hips.

“Michael, are you still in love with Sarah? Because it sounded like that when you talked about it, before”

“Of course I am, why would I lie to you?”

“Nah I know you wouldn’t.. but, I mean.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean, Lizzy”

His brow furrows for a second, and his eyes are out of focus, lost in thought even as he drags the tip of his nose up to Lizzy’s cheekbone, and she can’t help mouthing slightly at the side of cheek as he does, one of her hands spreading flat against his chest.

“I do love her”

“I know”

Silence stretches as their foreheads press together, than Michael shakes his head a little as he looks up, expression almost comically between pensive and genuinely confused.

“I just can’t explain to you how much I want to keep kissing you right now”

Lizzy breaks out laughing and nuzzles into his neck, pushing her lips against his pulse for a second.

“I can’t even explain it to myself to be quite honest, I just know I really want to take you home with me and have a proper make out session, you know”

“Yeah right. Oh, I was just about to ask you, what did your mom get you for your sweet sixteen birthday party, darling?”

They laugh. Just like they were laughing an hour before, sitting in front of each other, like they always laugh when they’re together. Just, this time, they laugh with their mouths close, and there’s a heady heat fueling their hilarity, a weird mix of anticipation and uncertainty spurring it on.

“Lizzy, I’m being serious though”

“I know you’re being serious, Sheen, and I am currently seriously pondering what to do because this feels weird as fuck, if you ask me”

“Well. From the way I see it”

“Yes”

“And it’s just my honest humble opinion, mind you”

“Yees”

“..We, two very close friends who happen to enjoy each other’s company very much, are two friends who are deciding to enjoy each other’s company.. a little deeper, let’s say that”

“A little deeper”

“Precisely”

Lizzy can barely hold herself together as she tries to keep talking without bursting out right in his face again.

“Well I do hope you’re stash of condoms is ready to go cause I’m not on the pill, driller”

“Goodness, Lizzy, you’re impossible I swear”

Her next comment on Michael’s colorful exclamation Is muffled by the hand that comes up fast to shush her.

“Lick all you want, but it kind of offends me that you’d think I’d be so easily defeated”

Lizzy’s eyes sparkle with malice while her tongue keeps lapping at Michael’s palm, salt and cold mingling against her palate when he finally withdraws.

“Yeah yeah, I know you liked that, you kinky evil liar”

“Alright that’s it”

He grabs her wrist as he spins around towards his car, both running to reach it as fast as they can.

 

The ride back to Michael’s place is mostly quiet: Lizzy hums along to the radio and they keep up their occasional back and forth, the mood light as it ever was and both seemingly ignoring the purpose of the ride itself. Soon enough, a comfortable but vaguely stuffed silence swells and adjusts between them, and Michael acknowledges the light press of Lizzy’s hand just above his knee: he starts grinning when he realizes she seemingly has no intention of removing it. Instead, she starts absent-mindedly patting his leg in sync to the song coming out of the radio, staring out the window like the actual kid she is, sometimes. He only speaks when his smirk threatens to split his face open.

“Lizzy, what are you doing?”

“Hmm?”

She turns towards him snapping out of her slightly groggy haze, mildly perplexed.

Still smiling, Michael looks down to her hand, than back up at her and huffs the words out again, holding his amusement in.

“What is your hand doing on my thigh?”

A roll of eyes, a smirk of her own tugging the corner of her lips up against her will, and Michael’s heart warming at the sight.

“Aw shush, it’s just above the knee, you prude. Besides, you’re the one who’s just about to Netflix and chill me so you really have no say in this”

Her hand stays right where it is, as do their grins until they reach Michael’s flat.

 

Once again, Lizzy's the first one to get past the threshold, and she kind of holds her breath until she hears Michael locking the door behind him, the sound followed by his hand on the small of her back.
"Wait for me in the bedroom, go get comfortable. I'm at home, and if you don't mind, I have no intention of keeping these clothes on"
Lizzy's not sure what he meant, and, as surreal as it feels, she makes her way to Michael's bedroom, wondering for a second if any of the possible outcomes implied by his words would make her run for the door. She's still calculating the probability of Michael coming into the room brandishing a butcher's knife, when he actually shows up sporting a pair of striped pyjama bottoms and a plain black t-shirt, hair all out of place, a couple droplets of water still dangling from it. 
He leans casually against the doorframe and tosses a lump of navy blue, worn, fuzzy looking fabric to Lizzy, who's stiffly sitting on the edge of his queen sized bed with her hands in her lap, heels of her boots far apart and tips joined. 
She stands, holding the pants (?) to her chest with a questioning look on her face.
"I do not want your dirty denim all over my fancy sheets, Liz, I'm sorry" 
Michael says with feigned sternness when she walks right into his personal space, but his hands stay inside his pockets, chin jutting out just a bit in defiance, lips pushed together and his lids halfway down.
She toes her shoes off and says nothing, but her eyes are bright as she passes him by, before she steps into Michael's bathroom.

A spontaneous chuckle spills from her, when she gets back into the room, at the sight of her respectable co-star tucked into bed, remote in one hand, rubbing one of his sleepy eyes. He smiles back, shoves one corner of the sheets back and pats the mattress beside him, shifting as if the bed was too small and he needed to make some space for her.
Lizzy still feels incredibly weird as her body adjusts to the foreign warmth, feel and smell of the situation, one of Michael's arms wrapping around her shoulders as she moves closer into him, pressing their sides together but not really knowing how else to proceed, given that all the lights are still on and fucking Gordon Ramsay's on tv.
As Michael zaps from one channel to another, his fingers idly swirl in Lizzy's hair, and she can already feel her legs turning to jello

"Michael"
"Hmm"
"Didn't you say you wanted to kiss me and all that? I swear I'm gonna be pissed if I fall asleep and you wake me up"
"I'll make sure you don't"
The smugness in his voice kind of makes Lizzy want to climb on top of him and shut him up good, but really, she's way too tired for that.
"Yeah? What do you mean by th-"
She cuts herself short when Michael's fingers lightly wrap around one of her boobs, and she catches his boyish smile as she looks up, snorting a laugh before she can think of anything to say. With his other hand and while Lizzy is distracted, he switches off the big ceiling light turning on the small bedside lamp next to him that paints the room a soft shade of gold. He turns back towards Lizzy and her temple rests on his bicep now, one of her hands stroking up his chest and settling on his shoulder, squeezing gently before sliding up to where it meets his neck. 
"Smooth, Sheen"
Lizzy feels less and less sleepy with all the small sounds Michael lets out as he moves to find the right position, her lips brushing his cheek, then his jaw and the top of his neck.
They finally settle down, Michael lying on his back but slightly turned towards Lizzy and she's almost sprawled on top of him, one arm around his neck so she can comb her fingers back and forth through his hair, the other one resting over his chest, their legs tangled, Michael's heel dragging slowly up one of her calves as he pushes the tip of his nose against hers.
He lays brief kisses on her mouth first, pulling back as soon as she starts responding to them, the smallest hint of his tongue just tasting her lips and disappearing again. When her fingers get rougher on him, tugging a little harder on strands of hair and tightening around his shoulder, Michel closes his eyes and lets his smile fade away, all the muscles of his mouth moving in kind with Lizzy's, tongue meeting hers halfway between them, pressed tight but not nearly enough. He feels the primal urge to be rougher, work his tongue harder and faster, just like when you bite into someone's skin for fun and your teeth scream to dig deeper, draw blood. But he holds himself back as the first, overwhelming waves of excitement wash over his body. After a minute, the raging ache burning in all of Michael's muscles, straining and pulling them taut settles into a hot, dull buzz spreading slow and sticky from his stomach, and he hums into Lizzy's mouth as he feels her body relax too. 
They alternate the gliding, fluid dance of their tongues circling each other, lips sealed and eyes closed, with open mouthed, sucking kisses that fill the room with those wet sounds that make Lizzy's hitched breath turn into a moan, Michael's hand sneaking under her tank top and right against impossibly hot skin, brushing further up until it finds its previous spot on Lizzy's breast, her nipple standing immediately to attention under the press and circle of Michael's thumb. 
Lizzy tilts her head up, eyes closed, exposing her throat to him, and his lips are slick as he mouths and lick at her neck, breathing fast and pushing a thigh between hers, turning more on his side so he can properly suck on the wide expanse of her neck where her blood pulses just below feverish skin. She fists her fingers in his curls and her jaw drops silently open when the combination of the damp press of Michael's lips to her neck and the increasingly scorching friction of his leg rubbing between hers, so she clings onto him and rocks her hips forward, swallowing hard and hearing Michael groan against the bobbing of her throat. She pulls him up again, Tasting salty skin on his tongue and trailing hers over his bottom lip before taking it into her mouth, sucking on it as Michael watches her with barely open eyes, breathing now heavier, slower, hand tracing downward over her ribs to the curve of her hip,  the spot where his worn-out sweatpants ride so low on her waist his fingers meet the elastic band of her underwear first.
Michael keeps the kiss slow and languid, and strokes the back of his fingers past the point where hip becomes lower belly, his knuckles pressing lightly just under her navel while his other hand keeps its up and down path between Lizzy's ear and her collar bone. He hooks the tips of his fingers in the thin waistband and waits, mouth hanging open against hers, sharing the steamy air between them.
"Is.. is this-"
"For god's sake, touch me,  Michael"
Hearing his own name spoken with barely more than a breath, so close he can feel it spelt on his own lips makes his head spin with a fresh surge of desire, amplified by the widening of Lizzy legs around his, punctuated by the heavy heat he feels shifting between his own limbs.
His hand plunges in, brushing immediately past the two layers of cloth, enclosed in smooth cotton on the back and smooth skin against his palm as he slowly inches down, until his fingers meet rougher skin and dampened curls, parting them tentatively, and then resuming their path further down the line that separates the two folds of pure heat, the flutter of muscle quivering all around.

His focus snaps back to Lizzy's face when his thumb finds the spot that's been begging for his touch, just in time to catch her eyes rolling back and falling closed, the first slightly more daring moan tumbling from her parted lips as he curls the pads of his other fingers over her entrance, surprising himself waiting for another one of her directions.
He finds that the mute thrust of her hips against the roll of his thumb and the small, high pitched gasp she lets through are enough for him to press his fingers carefully at first, then steadily pushing in when Lizzy muffles a "Yes" into a bite to his shoulder. 
She kisses him again, wide, pours her moans directly into Michael's throat and down his chest, swallows his own at their very birth and turns them into the clench of her walls around his fingers, working her slowly in time with the swaying of their hips, and Lizzy can feel Michael's hardness against her belly and it's staggering how much she itches to touch him in kind. He's hand slides all the way down to the dimples on his lower back, and she pushes his pants and boxers down over his butt, hooking them where it meets his thigh and squeezing, with a hard bite to the side of his jaw. She shoves the fabric further down with the momentary realization of how wet she's getting and of the increasing pressure in the pit of her stomach. She palms his length as it gets harder, still hidden in a twist of cloth that couldn't be pulled down amidst the tangle of their legs and the frantic thrust of hips, and Michael's wrist trapped between them. Lizzy distances herself just enough to shed that last square-inch barrier between her hand and his cock, and the first touch of its burning, wet tip makes Michael push deeper and press harder, static shock coursing through Lizzy as she strokes downward, tightening her grip when she comes back up, Michael's pleading moan unfolding in her ears and echoing her pleasure. She comes almost without even realizing it, lost in a thrumming haze that pulses white and bright from her core, her voice flowing out of her as the waves of pleasure crash and engulf her and never seem to stop. 
Lizzy realizes her eyes had been screwed shut when she opens them again, feels one of her legs hooked on Michael's still quivering hips, his fingers still curled against her, mirroring her firm grip around him. He's panting against her mouth but His eyes are open, and the fierce awe she sees there sends another spike of pleasure down to where his hand still slides between drenched skin. She tugs his head back and kisses down his neck, then pulls him back and glides her thumb across the slick head of his cock, reveling in the low moan he lets out when she presses on the frenulum. Lizzy knows he's close when she feels him go even harder and his skin feels like it's about to burst into flames along with hers, but she keeps going until finally his thighs pull taut and he freezes for a second, hot stripes of white staining his shirt and her hand and their hips settling into a slow paced thrust, legs rubbing against each other, panting open mouthed, a back and forth of the air between them.
Michael takes off his shirt and wipes Lizzy's hand with it, tucks himself back under the covers with a lazy, satisfied smile playing on his swollen lips and immediately wraps himself around Lizzy, making out slow, languid and sloppy, moaning into it and not speaking a single word until they both fall asleep, foreheads pressed together.