(1937-12-23) Chasing Hares
Details for Chasing Hares
Summary: Miranda stops by Michais's flat before he leaves for Japan to visit family.
Date: 23-December-1937
Location: Michais' Flat
Related: after A Meeting of Minds

The York Terrace is a fairly busy building, packed with muggles, especially as classes are out, and the student population that rent in this neighborhood are now catching up on their decorating. Mostly young, with a few older looking academians to be seen here and there, people pass with trees, wreaths, and decorations in their arms. Down the hall where Michais's flat is listed, though, is slightly quieter. More of the long term tenants, like Michais himself, live down here, and have already done their decorating. On the door that Miranda finally stops in front of, there is a green wreath, adorned with white origami cranes and clusters of silver glass ornaments. If she listens closely, she can hear the wizarding wireless playing within.

Miranda is perfectly okay with muggle students.. obviously. Though her robes don't exactly blend in. Leave it to the airhead to forget to dress properly. She stops to smile at the wreath, fingering one of the ornaments. Then she takes a deep breath, mustering courage, and knocks politely on the door.

As she touches the wreath, one of the cranes stretches its wings and swoops around her hand before landing on another branch of green. The wireless is turned off before the footsteps approach the door. There is no shadow passing across the peephole, the door is simply opened, and Michais, in rolled up shirtsleeves and dark slacks stands there. He looks down at Miranda, and then steps back silently. The door stays open as he stands next to it, hands now in his pockets and eyes down cast to the floor.

Miranda watches the crane in wonder, a smile on her face, and comments lazily to Michais as he opens the door, not with a hello, but a 'I bet the Muggles love that trick.' Then she steps inside and licks her lips, looking around rather than face him and his dejected self. "So this is where you're living, huh?"

Michais closes the door behind her. It's not so much dejected as the deference of not looking someone in the eyes, especially when he's unsure where he is. Near the table his carpet bag is packed, and on the table is a slightly ratty old teddy bear. "This is my flat, yes," he replies. "It doesn't work for muggles. Only wizards and squibs." He doesn't walk any further into the flat, his back now to the door as he manages, mostly, to suppress his curiosity as to her presence at his flat after all these years.

Miranda nods her head sharply and turns a slow circle, looking at everything. Finally she passes out of the mudroom into the main living area, taking her time examining everything in silence. Why she's there? Well, he'll have to either wait or ask. Probably ask. "Noh Masks, hm? Are you planning to take up the life of a performer?"

Michais closes his eyes for a moment as she continues on further into his flat. Lifting a hand to run it through his hair, he follows her, pulling his other hand out of his pocket so that he can clasp them behind as is his usual posture. "They are from home," he says quietly, not looking up to the masks in question. There is a book laying open on table next to one of the chairs. "Are you staying?" he finally asks. "If so, I can make some tea."

Miranda turns away from the Noh masks, continues to prowl. It gives her something to do besides actually deal with the elephant in the room right now. "I don't know. Am I?" She leaves that ball in his court, fingertips grazing the spines of a row of books. "I suppose you don't have anything stronger than tea?" Miranda gave up drinking a long time ago. She must be more nervous than she lets on.

The request of something stronger tugs one corner of Michais's lips to rise. "I don't think sake would be a good idea. And whether or not you're staying depends on why you came, doesn't it?" He stands just inside his living room, almost watching her as she moves.

Miranda sucks at groveling, can you tell? "I came to apologize, I suppose," she says at length. "Which means Sake is a /fabulous/ idea." Her face is contorted into a pained grimace as she turns around finally to look at him. "This is silly, isn't it? We've been best friends all this time and suddenly we can't even talk."

Michais swallows, and finally moves. Through the dining room, and into the kitchen, and he opens the ice box. "It depends on what you want to talk about," his voice, as always, is quiet, but somehow carries to her as he takes the chilled set out. "I was saving this for Lawrence, but we'll have plenty when we go home." A Japanese version of a shot is about half of the western counterpart, but the chilled version kicks the nose when it goes down, even in small doses. He pours the two small cups, and hands one over to Miranda.

"Laurence? Why were you saving Sake for Laurence?" Miranda, not so much in the know. "Who /is/ Laurence?" Ahem. She takes the small cup and looks down into it. "It shouldn't matter what I want to talk about. We talk about everything."

"Lawrence is my brother," Michais replies mildly, waiting for her to drink her sake first. "Perhaps. But it seems to me whatever it is you want to say is getting in the way of everything else."

"Oh. Right." Her eyebrows furrow. "You don't talk about him much," she says, almost defensively. Yes. She totally forgot his Squib brother. "Um." Miranda tosses back the Sake and chews her lower lip while it burns its way down. "I'm sorry," she blurts out then. "I didn't mean that you should … never come back."

Michais shrugs. "There's not a lot to talk about. He has his own life that most wizards don't even care to understand." When she apologizes, he sighs and sets his own little thimbleful down on the counter. "Miranda, we've had arguments before, we've disagreed about things. But we've never, either of us, suggested that the other would want to leave." He pushes his hands into his pockets. "But this is the second time since you've come back that you've suggested that maybe I shouldn't come back, or won't want to come back." He takes a deep breath and finds his gaze up to her eyes. "Why is that?"

"We've never fought about something like this before, though.." Miranda is the one to break the gaze for once, still playing with the cup, though it may be empty now. "I know you don't like him, or that I'm with him. I can't change that, though. I can't just break up with him because you don't approve…"

"That is because we've never had a love potion where you told me you'd rather be with me, than took it back the next day when it wore off," Michais reminds her quietly. His gaze drops to the floor again, and his jaw shifts a couple of times as he considers. "I don't like that he's made you cry. It killed me, six years ago, when I could tell you had been crying, and there was nothing I could do. Then the first thing you do when you return is go right back to the person who made you cry. I can't even pretend to understand it, Miranda. Like… has very little to do with it. If you're happy…" his hands lift out of his pockets in a helpless gesture. "But I will not be happy when he makes you cry again."

"Well you and I weren't exactly on the table before the love potion," replies Miranda, nose wrinkling. "Or at least, I didn't know it." She runs a hand through her hair and gives him another grimace. "Michais… I.. love Elijah. But…I love you, too. I'm just really confused right now and… I'm sorry if I've taken that out on you." She sets the cup down gently on the counter and bites her bottom lip. "I wish I could Obliviate us both and fix all this."

There's a softening to Michais's features when she admits her confusion, which doesn't happen often in a person raised with the Asian philosophy of not showing your emotion. He moves to take her hand when she sets the cup down on the counter, but then… His jaw tightens and he nods. "I see. You wish you could just forget everything we've said and done." He turns and takes the cup to the sink, and he finally does toss back the sake in his own cup. Both are washed, and everything is returned to the ice box. "Perhaps you should go. Lawrence will be here before long for us to portkey to Japan." His hands grip the edge of the sink and his ever correct posture is even stiffer. "I'll be back on the twenty-eighth. I'll be back at the store then."

"What?" Miranda's voice raises. "No. I want our friendship back. I feel like I'm losing you over this. So if I had to forget it… if that's what it took to fix you and me…" And then he more or less kicks her out. She quavers in place for a moment and then sighs and brushes her hand through her hair again. Then she stiffens her jaw and says as firmly and not quivery as she can manage, "Take your time, Michais. I know you don't see your family often."

"As much as it hurt to find out that part of what happened between us wasn't quite true… that night with you in India was amazing." Michais admits quietly. "I don't want to forget it. But as long as one night is all it's going to be, then leave it. Don't keep reminding me that it won't be repeated by wanting to talk about it, or telling me next time don't wait as if I have a chance now when I don't." His voice is still quiet as he turns and walks towards the door. "The portkey has already been made. I'll be back on the twenty-eighth."

Silence follows Michais to the door. Miranda stands frozen, chewing her lip as she always does when she's thinking hard on something. "Would you shut up about not having a chance? If you didn't have a chance, I wouldn't be standing here. You're asking me to choose. I /can't/. I don't know what to do." She pinches the bridge of her nose. "I don't want to choose. You're right. I'm selfish, and I'm cruel. I want you both and I can't have you both." With a heavy sigh, she finally goes to the door. "Happy Christmas, Michais." Not that there's much to be happy about between them right now.

"Ni usagi wo ou mono wa ichi usagi wo mo ezu," Michais says quietly as he holds the door. "One who chases after two hares won't catch even one. It's not me who is telling you to make a choice. That's what life is about, Miranda. Making choices," He nods. "Happy Christmas."

Miranda glances back over her shoulder as she heads out the door. Then she shakes her head and stuffs her hands deep in her robe pockets. Head down, back hunched, she heads down the hall.

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