(1937-12-17) The Hangover
Details for The Hangover
Summary: Michais and Miranda wake up the morning after the chocolates are gone, and Michais experiences his first hangover.
Date: 17 December 1937
Location: New Dheli, India
Related: Artifacts and, Ahem, Assets, Last Train to India

At some point the train pulled into New Delhi and Michais and Miranda peeled themselves off each other long enough to find a hotel. And, you know, do things… Morning comes, as mornings do, though, and Miranda slowly stretches and groans, reaching up to touch her head, first aware of a terrible headache, and next aware that this is not her bed, nor is the warm body she's wrapped around the familiar shape of Elijah. She doesn't move, simply opens her eyes and stares at the fair haired man beside her with a grimace.

Michais usually sleeps in pajamas. Especially this time of year when his flat gets a little drafty. The first thing Michais notices is the lack of pajamas, and the lack of draft. Then the light hits his eyes as he rolls over and he groans in earnest as the headache hits. "What in…" he sits up on the edge of the bed away from Miranda and rests his head in his hands. "All right, then," he tells himself, and gets up and stumbles to the bathroom for a headache potion… and the bathroom isn't where it's supposed to be. He stops at the dresser, and braces his hands on the dresser, and memories start piecing themselves together in his brain. He stiffens, and slowly looks over his shoulder towards the bed.

Miranda is still laying there, observing this all in silence. She rolls onto her stomach, the long line of her back exposed, arms folded under her chin, when Michais moves away. When he turns back, she lifts her hand and twiddles her fingers at him. "Morning."

Michais closes his eyes and blows out a breath, then realizes he's standing in front of her naked. Looking around, he grabs a towel off the stack left nearby and wraps it around himself. "Miranda," he says quietly, backing up and sitting down in the little straight backed chair that is set next to the dresser. "Uuuh, Morning."

"Mm, strange time to pick to be modest," murmurs Miranda lazily and snuggles back into her pillow. "Come back to bed. It's too early for this nonsense."

Michais rubs at his head. "I feel… like crawling into a quiet, dark hole for a week," he groans, but he relents and slowly lowers himself face down on the bed next to her.

Miranda reaches out a hand to lay against Michais' shoulder and then turns to scoot up to him, dragging the covers up to her shoulder and closing her eyes. "You okay?" she asks quietly.

Michais opens his eyes halfway. "I think this is what a hangover must feel like." He tries to look at her, finding it a little easier now that her eyes are closed and she's not looking at him. Finally, he asks. "Are /you/ all right?"

A slow lazy smile flexes Miranda's mouth. "A hangover feels very much like this." One eye peeps open and she reaches boldly to trace his hairline around his ear. "I'm fine, Michais. But you didn't answer my question."

Michais holds his breath as her finger traces around his ear. "I don't know. This isn't the usual puzzle with a yes or no answer," he finally answers. "Something is right and not right at the same time, and that shouldn't be able to happen."

"Sometimes life isn't so black and white," replies Miranda kindly, hand moving to cup his cheek affectionately before moving away, returning to lay on the pillow beneath her chin. "I wonder how long it will take for the chocolate company to recall those Christmas Creams. I don't think that was the kind of cheering up they were going for."

Michais can't help giving a laugh at that. "Maybe we should send an owl." He turns his head fully towards her. "I really had no idea. It must not be…" he groans again, and presses a palm to his forehead. His eyes close in pain for a minute or two, but then he takes a breath and lets it out. He opens his eyes, and studies Miranda quite seriously. "Why do you stay with him?" he asks bluntly.

Miranda returns Michais' serious look with level green eyes. "Love potion. I dosed you with love potion, spirited you off to India, seduced you… Let's call it what it is." The question draws a grimace. "I'm not sure I'm with him, as much as.. I suppose… it's easier to fall back on what I know than… be alone."

Michais raises his eyebrows, then immediately wishes he hadn't. "You're not telling me you knew there were love potions in those candies, are you?" He reaches over and smoothes some of her hair back from her forehead. "It seems to me there are worse things than being alone. Like, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like someone who doesn't appreciate the fact that you're an intelligent and beautiful woman."

Miranda laughs. "Oh, darling, if I had known, do you think I would have eaten them?" Boldly she leans in to brush her lips against his, testing the waters, as it were. "Elijah loves me. He appreciates those things. He is fine when he's taking Clarity Potions. Nobody is perfect."

After an almost straight 48 hours of indulging, Michais's lips automatically respond when she brushes them across his. "Does he?" he asks, then hms. "And so what happens when he doesn't take his Clarity potions? He's beastly and makes you cry, but that's all right and can be forgiven because it's not his fault?"

Miranda pulls back and frowns at Michais, eyebrows knitting. "I never said I forgave him. Or trusted him. I said I'd…try. I was with him for 5 years… just because six months of it was bad doesn't mean it all was."

Michais rolls over on his back, his arm going over his eyes. "I never said it was," he replies quietly. "But those six months were…. bad enough when I didn't really know what was going on."

Miranda scowls and rolls over as well, putting her back to him. "What would you prefer, Michais? Since you seem to have all the answers."

"Do you want what I prefer? Or the answer?" Michais asks, his voice reverting back to the detective solving a puzzle.

"My head hurts," replies Miranda sullenly. "I want you to be quiet." Which is woman-speak for 'you're not going to give me the answer I'm actually looking for, so you might as well just shut up'. Then, she yanks the blanket up over her head, really reaching for the maturity today.

Michais remains quiet for awhile. Then he sits up on the edge of the bed. "Just don't think that when you hurt, you're the only one that hurts," he finally says. "Your friends hurt, too." Pulling the towel around him again, he gets up, and despite the aching head, he finds his carpet bag, and looks through it, before finding the washing room for real this time.

Miranda sulks under the blankets for awhile until that becomes boring. While Michais is in the wash room, she gets up and finds a bath robe. She ties the robe around herself firmly and then prowls the room restlessly, investigating drawers and the lettering on pens and the pattern on the drapes.

Michais does look slightly fresher when he comes out, he's even shaved. He leans against the doorway and watches her.

"I want to be mad at you," Miranda says without turning away from her examination of the wainscoting. "I know it's not reasonable to be mad at you, but I am."

Michais scratches at the back of his neck. "I see. Then I should probably take the next train back to London." He gathers his carpet bag and his brief case. "I'll make sure the books are caught up when I get back."

To be fair, Elijah is not the only one to blame for those six awful months. Miranda has a terrible temper, and right now she's not in a very good mood. "Damn it, you're not even the least bit interested in talking about any of this?"

Michais sighs and pauses near the door way. "You wanted me to be quiet, Miranda," he reminds her reasonably. He lets out a long exhale. "I've always known I would not be the one for you. You've made it clear Elijah is who you want, and so it is probably best that we go back so you can explain. There's nothing here for us. What /we/ have is a store to run."

"Who decided that, then? You? If you don't want me, admit that, don't try to say it just wasn't meant to be. I told you how I felt." She folds her arms across her chest. "Go then. If that's what you want."

Michais blows out an exasperated breath. "We said a lot of things when the potion was in our veins. Now that the potion is gone you tell me that Elijah is great, and you want to try with him. I can't make up your mind for you. If Elijah is what you want, then… you're telling me I'm not the one for you."

"Right. It was just the potion. Of course." Miranda crosses the room to open the door for him. "Please just… go. I'm going to cry, and I don't want an audience." Honest, as usual.

Michais takes a long look at her. "Miranda," he says simply. "Am I wrong thinking all this talk about how Elijah loves you and appreciates all the things I do about you means that you'd rather be with Elijah than with me? Am I wrong to want to be you happy trying to give what you want?"

"I don't know," snaps Miranda and blows out a frustrated breath. "It means… It means go screw some red headed bimbo if that's what you want, since you've never showed the least bit of interest towards anyone else." Rather than wait for him to leave and have to talk any more about a conversation she, never mind, was the one to want to have, she disappears into the wash room and slams the door.

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