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 That's Why I Love You

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MJJsGirl4Life

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Female Pisces Posts : 125
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Join date : 2011-10-16
Age : 20
Location : Daydreamin' about Mike...

PostSubject: That's Why I Love You   December 6th 2011, 9:33 pm

First topic message reminder :

Okay, this is my first ever fanfic, so please tell me if it sucks and I should stop writing, or if it needs work.

Note, I used angelpup's idea with the whole old friends meet up and fall in love thing. It's totally different though.

Michael's POV
"Damn," Quincy muttered under his breath. "Here comes the press, again. You ready Mike?"

"No," I muttered under my breath. Couldn't they leave me alone for even one minute?

"What?" Quincy asked.

I sighed, "Nothing."

"Mr. Jackson, Mr. Jackson! Tell us, how does it feel to have Thriller on top of the charts and possibly on the way to breaking a record?" They all crowded around me and Quincy, shoving mics in our faces and snapping a picture a minute. Even with my sunglasses on, I squinted. It was hard not to with all the flashbulbs popping.

"I, uh," I really was not in the mood to answer any more questions, so I looked over at Quincy and silently begged him to answer for me.

"Well," Quincy made it appear as though it was him speaking for himself. "It feels pretty good. It's always satisfying to know the fans are liking what we put out there. And now, if you kind people would excuse us-" I couldn't believe he said that with a straight face, "-we really have to get moving." Reluctantly, the press moved out of the way and we bolted for fresh air.

"Thanks, Quince," I said. I felt like such a wimp, not being able to stick up for myself.

"It's not a problem, smelly." he used my nickname and I smiled, "But you've got to stick up for yourself sometime. I can't keep coverin' for you." I hung my head in shame. I didn't want to make anyone mad if I said the wrong thing, and I really didn't want anyone to be disappointed in me.

His gaze softened. "I know what you're thinkin'." he said softly "Look at me. You won't be makin' anybody mad and you sure won't disappoint no one if you speak your mind." He tapped the side of my head. "There are good thoughts in there. Make 'em heard."

I grinned. Quincy was like a mind-reader. He somehow always knew what was on my mind. "Thanks, Quince. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Take care of yourself, Mike. See you tomorrow." He clapped my shoulder and turned to leave for home. A sudden breeze made me shiver. It was cold for this time of year, especially in California. I pulled my coat more tightly around me and allowed myself to immerse myself in watching the people walking past. Every once in awhile, I'd try walking up to someone to see if they'd want to be my friend. One of two things would always happen. I'd get along with them just fine for awhile, and then it would be, "Oh my GOD! You're MICHAEL JACKSON!!" And they'd basically dismember me and try to rip my hair out. Either that, or they'd stutter and giggle all over themselves, generally making normal conversation impossible. Don't get me wrong here. I loved performing and the sense of accomplishment, but God, sometimes it was just hard to be me."

"Great," I muttered sourly "Poor little me, right? Now I'm having a pity-oomph!" I was passing a bench, and not paying attention like I was, I tripped over someone's outstretched foot.

"Ouch!" yelped an obviously female, almost musical voice. I looked up from my crumpled heap on the pavement questioningly. I knew that voice.

My POV
I had been studying for my upcoming bar exam when someone tripped over my foot. I knew I shouldn't have had my foot out that far on the sidewalk, but I would have thought that any responsible, normal person would've seen it. It turned at a funny angle and I cried out in pain. Oh God, I think it's broken, I thought.

The man who tripped scrambled to his feet. "Oh, my gosh! I'm so sorry, I didn't see your foot I wasn't paying any attention..." he trailed off and his dreamy, dark brown eyes widened in recognition- wait a second! What was I thinking?! I didn’t even know this guy. At least I didn’t think I did…

"Emily?" the man asked disbelievingly, looking at my face with an intensity that almost made me squirm uncomfortably.

I gasped in recognition. "Michael? Is that you?" I discreetly and quickly looked him up and down. Yep, this was definitely Michael. He'd gotten a little bit taller, and his hair had changed from the poofy afro that I had loved to loose and kinky curls.

"Weren't you going to Harvard?" he asked, startling me out of my reverie. "You practically shoved your acceptance letter up my nose when it came in the mail!" There it was, the mischievous glint in his eye that I saw so often. When Michael had moved to California, I was his next door neighbor. We had hung out whenever he wasn't recording or touring.

I put my hands on my hips and communicated a silent, Excuse me? "Did not!" I rolled my eyes and punched him playfully on the arm. "But yeah, that was my initial plan. When I discovered that tuition prices were through the roof, and that I didn't want to travel all the way across the country, my plans changed. I applied to UCLA and got accepted there instead. Staying in California was a lot more convenient, especially when my dad got... sick." I quickly stopped speaking and looked down. This was not a subject that I wanted to talk about. Not now. "But how are you doing?" I asked, trying to change the subject.

"Your new album, Thriller, right? It's doing pretty well, I take it?"

"I guess so," he replied modestly, even though we both knew that it was on its way to breaking records. I must have done something right. I'm doing pretty good, except, you know, for the whole, fans-mobbing-me-if-I-so-much-as-poke-my-nose-out-the-door thing." He rubbed his neck and sighed. "It's insane." He looked struck by a sudden thought. "Oh, my gosh! Your ankle!" I noticed a definite throbbing in said ankle.

Slowly, and hissing with pain, I eked my shoe and sock off to find a clearly swollen ankle. "That's probably not a good thing," I said weakly, trying to make light of the situation.

"No kidding," Michael affirmed, concern written all over his face "We should get you to a doctor to get it checked out right away." I sighed in resignation. If there one thing I could not stand, it was being poked and prodded by doctors.

"Yeah, I guess so." I said reluctantly "But actually getting there is going to be somewhat of a problem." I reached over to pick up my books, but Michael beat me to it. "Mike!" I protested, reaching for my textbooks "Give me those!" He held them out of my reach. "Oh, gee, that's mature!" I grumbled.

"Let me help you," he said, reaching out to help me up. "The emergency room isn't that far from here." I hesitantly took his hand, and bolts of electricity shot up my arm on contact. When it became apparent that I couldn't put any weight on my ankle, he held out his arm, and I slowly reached out and took it, leaning into him.

Michael's POV I couldn't believe that I had probably broken a girl's ankle because I wasn't paying any attention to what I was doing! I was such a klutz!
Emily had changed a lot since she graduated. Her super frizzy hair, which I had liked and she had hated with a vengeance, had tamed down somewhat and she had it half pulled back, so that a single lock spilled across her face. I noticed that she had gotten contact lenses and started wearing light mascara, so that her luminescent green eyes seemed even wider. She had matured, um, a lot. Black dress pants and a flowing blouse showed just how much without being too revealing. I really liked it.

She shot me a glittering smile when she noticed me staring at her. I loved that smile, and had since the day I met her through the fence that separated our backyards. It made her entire face light up with an inner glow.

"How much farther, huh Michael?" she was starting to breathe a little heavily, and a little bead of sweat ran down the side of her face. I reached out and wiped it away.

"Not too much farther, Em," I said "Don't pass out on me, 'kay? Even as buff as I am, I'm not sure I can carry both you and your books." She bumped me with her hip, and I looked away to cover up a blush.

"Buff, sure." she snorted. I shot her my grieving puppy dog face. She started laughing, like a peal of bells "Sorry, Mike, it's just that you look so..." she started laughing again. I enjoyed her laugh, though I was nursing an injured pride.

We arrived at the emergency room and I slipped on a disguise before we went in. Emily shot me a questioning look.

"Do you want to be run over by hysterical fans?"

"When you put it that way, definitely not." she decided.

Thankfully, there were no stairs in the building and we made it to a waiting room without too much hassle. I helped her sign in and we took a seat. I tried not to look at her slender and long legs, but me being me, I failed epically.

"Ms. Byrne?" a nurse called.

My POV With a lot of help from Michael, I hopped back to to the room where the nurse poked and prodded at my ankle, drawing pained gasps from me.

"Does it hurt here?" She asked, poking a particularly tender spot.

"Yes," I hissed, grabbing Michael's hand tightly. When I realized what I was doing, I dropped it rather hurriedly.

"We should probably do an x-ray, miss," the nurse said, frowning in concern. It might be broken. She did the x-ray and we went back to the room to wait for it to be processed.

"Emily, I'm so sorry," Michael fretted "This is all my fault."

I wasn't about to let him take all the blame. "Not entirely," I said "I was the one with her foot out halfway across the pavement, remember?"

"Yes, but I was the one who wasn't looking where I was going," he insisted.

"Yeah, but-" I paused, trying to come up with a decent comeback. "Dang it! I've got nothing!" We started giggling like the two kids who used to giggle over insubstantial things in a tree house what seemed like forever ago. A sudden knock at the door brought us back to our senses.

"Well, Ms. Byrne, I have good news and bad news." he said pompously "Which-"

"I'd like to hear the good news first please," I said, quirking an eyebrow. "Tell it to me straight, doc. When do you operate?" Michael and I carefully avoided making eye contact, because it was a given that we'd burst out laughing if we did.

"Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor, miss," the doctor said stiffly. I could tell it was one of his first days on the job. "No, we aren't operating. As I was going to say, your ankle is not broken. However, it is severely sprained and you'll need a brace and crutches for at least a month, maybe more."

I swallowed a groan. I had my bar exam coming up soon and I didn't have a car, partially by choice, and partially due to heavy student loans. I just had a bike and my own two feet (now one foot and a pair of crutches).

He fit me with an ankle brace and crutches and sent me on my way. Once we got outside, Michael located the nearest pay phone, said a couple quick words into it, and hung up. When he noticed my confused expression, he shot me his trademark quirky lopsided grin. I dismissed the sudden beat my heart skipped.
"I called a limo," he explained. "Since it really is my fault that you hurt your ankle-" he clapped his hand over my mouth to stifle any protests "-I'm inviting you to dinner at my family's house. We're all going to be there."

At this point, I really had something to say, so I did the only thing that would make my cousins let go whenever we wrestled when we were little. I bit his hand.

Michael's POV

"Ouch!" I yelped and hurriedly pulled my hand off her face. "Did you seriously just bite me?" She grinned widely, her eyes sparkling with laughter.

"Well, I had to do something to make you let go, didn't I?" I wanted to be serious, but not laughing was proving to be very difficult. But then, a horrible thought entered my brain with the power of a lightning bolt.

"You're not going to say no, are you?" I asked in fear. I wanted her to come, if I ever got the guts to ask her out, I'd prefer to do so when my family already knew her. This was in part to spare her feelings, and mine. I really didn't want to endure the merciless teasing that was sure to ensue from my brothers.

"Aw Mike, of course not!" she put her hand on my arm, instantly setting off a flurry of butterflies in my stomach. "I want to meet your family, but to tell you the truth, I'm a little nervous." She gave a little smile, but I could see the nervousness in her eyes.

"You're not getting starstruck, are you?" I gently teased, trying to get her to feel better. "I mean, you're talking to the most famous popstar of the moment right now!"

"Oh shut up!" she laughed, whacking my ankle with her crutch and nearly going down again.

"I'm gonna have to be careful about what I say around you," I mused in mock seriousness, while catching her just in time to prevent an unfortunate faceplant "I can't afford to offend you, you might hurt yourself again!"

"Watch it, Jackson," she growled playfully "If I go down, you're coming with me."

At this point my mind decided to take a stroll toward the gutter. I managed to yank it back to more innocent thoughts with some difficulty. Now was not the time to be thinking like that.

The limo pulled up and I opened the door for Emily so she could get in. True to klutzy form, she caught her crutch on the curb and pitched forward. Thinking that a chipped and/or missing tooth or a black eye would probably be best avoided, I caught her and found my hands "accidentally" on her butt.

My POV

I felt two objects on my backside that felt suspiciously like Michael's hands. I snapped my head around and my eyes widened at the sight of a beet-red Michael hastily moving his hands so that they were supporting me from a less, um, awkward position.

"Sorry," he mumbled, his face still flaming red "My hands slipped."

I'll just bet they did, I thought. Michael jumped in the limo behind me and pulled the door shut. I didn't know why, but I hadn't actually minded Michael touching my butt. I didn't know exactly what I felt about it, but I knew I didn't not like it. Boy, are you in trouble, my conscience scolded me.

For a long time, we sat in silence, which gave me ample time to sneak peeks at him. I was sure it was all the dancing he was doing, because he was muscular. Not grossly "bodybuilder" muscular, but lithely muscled limbs, and if I wasn't mistaken, rock-hard abs. His baby-fat days were gone, the adorably round face that I used to pinch to tick him off was gone, and in its place was a lean, chiseled face that still dimpled when he smiled. No matter what he did, a few loose curls fell onto his forehead, just above eyes that were sweet, soulful, and seductive, all at once. Was that even possible? I pondered. And those full, juicy lips were lips that I could kiss all day- my thoughts, which had quickly been progressing in a direction that seemed inappropriate for friends, screeched to a halt. I really need to get my brain under control, I thought.

"So," Michael said somewhat awkwardly "When do you take the bar? I think you mentioned that it was soon."

"I take it next week, Thursday. That's what I was studying for, until a certain buffoon tripped over my foot. I poked his side and smirked at his immediate reaction.

"Uh-huh, and who had whose foot halfway out across the sidewalk?" He pinched my chin like he used to whenever he felt the extremely frequent urge to annoy the heck out of me. I thumped the side of his head playfully with my hand. "Oww," he whined.

I elbowed him in the ribs. "You are such a diva," I taunted with a grin.

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

I decided to try a different tactic. "Are not!" I hid a triumphant smirk, waiting for the reaction.

"Am too!..." he paused in confusion, and then realization clouded his expression. "HEY!" I nearly fell off the seat laughing at his irate expression.

"It's not funny," he declared poutily, crossing his arms over his chest.

"If you could see your face," I giggled "You would laugh too."

The limo pulled up to the house that I had grown up next to, Hayvenhurst. (sp?)

Wow," I sighed, craning my neck to look out the window. I forgot how beautiful this place is!"

"Haven't you been home since you graduated?" asked Michael in confusion.

Yeah, but it wasn't a pleasure trip or anything," I whispered, overcome by a sudden wave of memories.

Flashback

The winter break after I started college, I got a phone call from my mom. She was hysterical and could hardly speak.

"Emily, are you there? I need to talk to you!" She sobbed into the phone. My mom was a smart, strong individual. If something had upset her to this degree, it was serious, and since she was calling me, I knew I should be worried.

"Mom, it's okay. Calm down. I'm here," I tried to speak over her shuddering sobs, all the while holding the phone away from my ear. This was in part to avoid having my eardrums blown out, and a feeble attempt to distance myself for the incoming sad thing that she was about to tell me. "What's wrong?"

Y-your father," my stomach clenched in sudden fear, so strong that I felt sick "H-he overd-dosed on h-heroin..." she broke down again and was rendered incapable of speech for several minutes.

I fought down my own rising tidal wave of panic "Is he in the hospital?" In my heart, I already knew the answer, and it seeped through me like ice water.

"N-no! she wailed "He's d-d-dead!"

I dropped the phone and sat down hard, missing the chair. A dial tone let me know that my mom had hung up too. I sat there in stunned silence for an endless minute before I started crying hysterically.

My dad had gotten into the heavy drug use of the 60s quite a bit. It wasn't shocking to me like it should have been, since practically everyone else's parents were doing the same thing. A lot of my friends started doing it too, but I had vowed never to do drugs ever after I saw him so many times when he was high. I had tried to tell him to quit, but he'd just yell at me and tell me that I had no idea what he was going through and then he'd shut me out in an icy silence for days. He had lost his job and our family was struggling to make ends meet. Each week, we tried to estimate how much money we could use and still get by. We always went without something that was deemed too expensive.

When I came home for the funeral and wake, a shocking scene greeted me. My mother and sister were nothing but depressed shells of their former, vivacious selves. They never smiled, and were indifferent and apathetic about nearly everything.

I left as soon as the funeral was over, hoping to escape the looming cloud of depression that had settled so thickly over my once happy childhood home. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. I thought, it's no big deal, they'll pull through it, they're the strongest people I know, for God's sake! I had totally forgotten how much my mom and sister had loved and depended on my father. To them, he was practically the whole world. I should have stayed right there and tried to kindly force some sunshine and love into their lives.

Exactly one year after my dad died, my sister and mother were found in our garage with the car running and the door down. There was no note explaining things, but we all knew it was that they'd lost their will to live after he died.

I returned to my home once again, but this time for the funerals of the only family I had left.

I tried not to think about it too much, but at least once a week I had nightmares about it that would wake me up in a cold sweat with the remnants of a scream lingering on my lips.

End Flashback

Michael's POV

"Emily?" she was totally spaced out, "Hellooo? Earth to Emily?" I waved my hand in front of her face. When I had asked if she had been home since she graduated high school, her eyes sort of glazed over and she looked really sad. Grief didn't suit her face well; it made her look nearly ten years older.

She jumped when she finally noticed my hand waving in her face. "Sorry, Mike," she shook her head a little "I guess I was a little... distracted," she gave a strained little laugh that wasn't even an attempt to be cheerful. Something was hurting her, deep inside, but I didn't want to press her for answers. Not just yet.

"No prob," I waved it off and helped her out of the limo "You ready to meet the Jacksons?" a genuine smile touched her lips this time; I'd told her a lot about my family, but she'd never met them. She swung forward on her crutches. Thankfully, the sidewalk wasn't too long, and soon we were in the entryway.

I cupped my hands around my mouth and shouted "Hey, everybody! I brought a guest!" A light blush dusted Emily's cheeks. That girl blushed more easily than anyone I had ever met. She shot me a that wasn't necessary glance. She hated to have all the attention drawn to herself.

My family came pouring out of the dining room. Janet faked a stern look at me "About time you got here, Mike. Marlon's got his eye on your plate." Marlon, who was just now coming out of the dining room, was finishing swallowing a huge bite of bread and mumbled "Wha'?" We all burst out laughing and that seemed to make Emily feel more at home.

Mother stepped up to me "Baby, who's this?" she asked.

I put a hand on Emily's arm "This is Emily. She and her family used to live next door to us, over there." I gestured in the general direction of her childhood home.

I must have mentioned Emily to Mother at least once, because she brightened in recognition "Oh! So you're the one who was so nice to Michael for all those years!" Emily smiled and held out her hand to Mother "It's so nice to meet you dear." Mother disregarded the hand held out to her and instead pulled Emily into a tight embrace. Her eyes widened in surprise; I felt a little guilty about not first warning her about my family's tendency to be overly touchy-feely.

“The Jacksons don't shake hands, we hug,” I explained apologetically “This is Jermaine, Marlon, Janet, Tito, Jackie, Rebbie, LaToya, and Randy.” Each of them stepped forward in turn to give her a hug. Most of them were warm hugs, but LaToya's was tinged with frost “And,” I concluded, trying to keep the reluctance out of my voice “This is our father, Joseph.”
Emily smiled tentatively, I'd told her about all the things that Joseph had done to us. She held out her hand, but he ignored it, remaining impassive, even a little angry “I never heard anything about a girl living next door, much less you being friends wit her, Michael.” I cringed at the venom in his voice. Emily looked to be confused, probably wondering what she had done to illicit such hate from a man she had never met.
“Please excuse Joseph,” I whispered to her “He has a minor rudeness problem.” Unfortunately, he heard me and shot me a glare that almost made me pass out. Luckily, I avoided it. At least I didn't puke in front of her, I thought.
We all made our way into the dining room and Mother hurried into the kitchen to fix a plate for Emily. She tried to get up to go help out, but Janet pulled her back into her seat.
“You're our guest. You don't need to fix your own meal,” I sent a smile of thanks to Janet across the table for trying to ease the tension that LaToya and Joseph had brought upon the house.
My POV

Michael's family was so nice! They were all polite and friendly to me, well, all except Michael's older sister LaToya and his father Joseph. I wasn't exactly sure why.

“So Emily,” Mrs. Jackson said “What are you doing now? Are you working, or are you still in school?”

“I'm currently in my last year of law school and preparing to take the bar, Mrs. Jackson,” I said.

“Please call me Katie or Momma dear,” she said, patting my arm “I want you to feel welcome here. After all, you're like family!” I smiled “That's so good for you, I'm glad you're succeeding.”

I took a bite of the food “Wow Katie, this is fantastic! Michael never told me that you could cook so well!” she lit up with a huge smile that reminded me of her son's own luminescent grin.

“Thank you sweetie,” she beamed. Joe shot me an ice cold glance and I averted my gaze uncomfortably. Why did he hate me so much? An awkward silence settled thickly over the table.

“So, uh,” Jermaine coughed uncomfortably “Do cars interest you at all, Emily?” Michael shot him a grateful smile.

“I don't know much about them, but I do like Mustangs,” I said. This was true; I knew next to nothing about cars. The location of the gas tank, and how use it was about as far as my vehicle education went. I liked Mustangs simply because of how they looked.

“Do you own one?” he asked. It was clear that he was a lover of cars, like most men, and liked to talk about their inner workings.

“No, I don't have a car,” I replied “Do you like them?” his eyes lit up and he grinned.

There was a collective groan from Michael's siblings. Apparently I had just brought up a taboo subject.

“Now you've done it, Emily,” Jackie moaned “You just had to ask about his favorite topic. Now he'll never shut up!” Jermaine punched Jackie's arm playfully and unfazed, launched into an intricate explanation about the interior workings of a Mustang.

“And then the engine, you know has a--” it went completely over my head. I decided that the best route of action would be just to smile and nod, which I did. He was just going into something about the wheels when he stopped short and looked at me with an amused expression on his face.

“You have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, do you?” he asked, smirking.

Honesty was probably the best policy “Not a single iota,” I admitted. He chuckled.

“'Course, I wouldn't expect you to, you being a girl and all,” my eyebrows disappeared into my hairline. He saw the expression on my face and hastily backpedaled “Well, I mean, girls are good at some stuff, like singing and sewing--”

“And dancing!” Janet and I cut in at the same time “Jinx!” she shouted triumphantly “But yeah, Jermaine, girls can dance too, it's not just the boys.”

He scoffed at the idea “Please! It takes real muscle to dance like we do!” Janet's eyes narrowed to teasing slits.

“Was that a challenge, oh brother of mine?” she asked, poking his arm.

“No, but it is now! I challenge everyone that would like to participate to a dance off!” Michael grinned wickedly at his siblings, something told me that he had a few killer dance moves up his sleeve that would steal the competition. We all ran (well, I carefully hopped) upstairs to a room that had been set up as a performance area. The boys hastily slid all the furniture out of the way so that it was in jumbled heaps against the walls so that there would be adequate dancing space. Tito picked up a Jacksons record, slid it into the record player, adjusted the the sound system and turned the spotlights on. He and Randy got up to start dancing. For awhile they matched each other step for step, neither giving an inch. They both sweated profusely. It was a shame I couldn't compete with these guys. I would lose, but it would be fun. It was an integral part of their profession, I just did it for a hobby.

Randy was starting to wear out, and eventually he tripped over his own foot. Even though he was out of breath, Jackie still had the strength to good-naturedly tease his younger brother.

“Little rusty, Randy?” he puffed, clapping his little brother's shoulder. Randy tried to laugh, but he was too worn out.

“Your turn, Emily,” Janet said “I'm against you.”

“I'd love to, really but,” I gestured regretfully to my brace bound ankle “As you can see, I can't.”

Aw, man!” Marlon exclaimed “I wanted to see if white girls were any good at dancing!” Janet slapped his arm with a mortified expression on her face. She turned to me with an oncoming apology on her lips, but I shushed her and brushed it off.

“No, it's fine,” I said “Marlon, I give you my solemn word that as soon as the doctor okays my dancing on this ankle, I will challenge you to a dance competition. And win.”

He grinned “I'll remember that. But if you lose, you will never hear the end of it. Ever.” I grinned back and we shook hands.

The contest quickly progressed until it was just Michael and Janet. For awhile, they were able to keep up with each other. It almost looked like they were doing a routine. But Janet got tired and eventually Michael won. Big surprise there. They hugged and we all clapped for Michael. He looked at me over one of his sibling's heads and grinned lopsidedly at me. I felt my cheeks get warm.

Janet took one look at the grin on her brother's face and clapped a hand to her forehead. I wondered if it was due to the fact that she thought he looked stupid. Which he didn't, in my opinion he had a great smile.

“I forgot that I was supposed to help with the dishes!” she exclaimed, putting into voice the reason for slapping her forehead “Mike, come help me.” It wasn't really so much a request as it was a command. Before he could respond, she grabbed his wrist and proceeded to drag him down the steps, ignoring his feeble protests.

Michael's POV

“Janet, you know I hate doing dishes!” I said, trying to wiggle out of her iron grip to no avail whatsoever. For a younger sister, she was strong. Really strong. “Lemme go!” I protested. I could read pretty much all of Janet's facial expressions and most of them had a name. The one she shot me now was the shut-up-I-just-want-to-talk-to-you one. I allowed myself to be hauled down the stairs now, relieved that I wasn't going to be up to my elbows in bubbles.

Janet pulled me into the kitchen and closed the door. When she swung to face me, there was an interesting expression on her face, one that I couldn't identify. It seemed almost thoughtful.

“Mike, do you like her?” my eyes almost fell out of my head. Was I really that bad about wearing my heart on my sleeve?

My cheeks got hot “Was I really that obvious?” I asked, mentally slapping myself in the face. Great, just wonderful. Emily probably thought I was some insane, weirdo by now.

“Uh, kinda,” she said in her most no friggin' duh voice. I was equal parts horrified and mad until I noticed the joking sparkle in her eyes. Damn it, why did she always have to mess with my mind like that?

“Kidding, kidding,” she said with her hands up in a surrendering gesture “Just take a little advice from your kid sister and stare a bit less in the future, okay?” I nodded, feeling more than a little bit of an idiot about the whole thing.

“Hey,” her eyes softened “Don't worry about it. It's not like you scared her to the point of her running out of here screaming.”

I laughed at Janet's serious face “Yeah, guess that's true,” I admitted. I loved having a younger sister with a sense of humor that matched my own “Thanks, Dunk.”

She grinned and messed up my hair, causing me to chase her up the stairs “No problem!” she shouted down the steps.

Emily's POV

It wasn't too long before Janet and Michael came running back up the stairs. Michael appeared to be chasing Janet, and she sprinted through the room to hide behind me.

“Save me, Emily!” she shrieked, cowering behind my back. I threw my arms out wide dramatically.

“You'll have to go through me to get to her, Michael!” I said in my most theatrical voice.

“Okay,” he said and then began tickling Janet and me so vigorously that we collapsed in a pile of helpless laughter.

“No, Michael, please! Eeeeee!” I squealed. Soon everyone was joining in the mass tickle war, well, except for LaToya. Once the giggles subsided, Randy looked struck by a sudden thought.
“Hey, Emily,” he said, frowning “I meant to ask earlier, what happened to your ankle?” The rest of Michael's siblings murmured and nodded in assent. I looked over at Michael, whose eyes had suddenly become wide and pleading. I hoped that I could convincingly leave him out of this. God only knew that his brothers would never leave him alone about it.

“You guys are never gonna believe this, it's so klutzy,” I began and Michael's gaze locked with mine again. I lifted my chin almost imperceptibly, indicating that I wouldn't spill. He relaxed his shoulders and let out a little breath that he probably didn't even know he had been holding “I tripped down the stairs of the campus library and landed on my ankle.” Incredulous stares met mine “No, really! One of my friends bumped into me and my balance was really off because of the massive load of books in my arms.” Janet and Rebbie murmured sympathetically, LaToya continued to pretend that I wasn't there, and the boys all bit their lips to hide smirks.

“Yeah, yeah, go ahead. Laugh!” I swatted the nearest shoulder to me which happened to belong to Tito. He howled in fake pain and rolled around on the floor, clutching his “injured” shoulder.

LaToya had evidently had enough of me because she stood up in a huff and flounced out of the room and down the stairs, slamming the door behind her. It echoed with a resounding boom. I ran over all the things that I had said earlier in the night mentally, wondering what I could have said to possibly insult her. I hadn't actually said anything to her directly, or indirectly for that matter.

“What's up with her?” I posed the question to everyone in the room.

“Oh, she's just in another one of her many moods,” Michael waved it off “I wouldn't worry about it, 'Toya's never in the same mood for more than a few hours, at best.” So, basically, she was on a permanent PMS? Lovely. That had to be bucket-loads of fun.

Janet piped up “Somehow, all the variations of her many moods seem to revolve around sarcasm, anger, moodiness, and not speaking to someone,” she shook her head “It's amazing to me that she still comes up with new ones.”

“It takes skill,” Jermaine said, stretching out on the floor and putting his hands behind his head “But that's not a skill you'd want to have. Not like my good looks.” he said with a satisfied smile. Jermaine seemed like a cool guy, but like a lot of people, he had some major ego issues. Rebbie rolled her eyes at the egotistical remark.

“What looks?” she quipped, and ducked when Jermaine chucked his shoe at her. It flew over her head and hit the wall with a loud thunk. A moment went by in ringing silence, the kind that makes your ears buzz, and then we all burst out laughing.

We continued on like this for several hours, talking, laughing, and teasing. Sometime during this, I realized that the hollow, empty feeling that made my chest ache for most of the time was mostly gone. Huh, maybe being around these guys helps, I thought.

A loud yawn from Michael mid-sentence prompted Marlon to look at his watch “Yeesh!” he exclaimed “It's already twelve thirty!” Well, that explained why I was suddenly hardly able to keep my eyes open.

“I should probably be heading home,” I said ruefully “I've got class tomorrow!” I remembered with a groan.

“It's been really great to meet you, Emily,” Janet got up to give me a hug “Come visit again sometime, yeah?”

“I'll think about it,” I teased. It certainly wouldn't be any trouble to come back, I felt right at home.

Michael stood up “I'll drive you home,” he said.

“Well,” I said hesitantly “If it's not too much trouble.” I didn't want to be any more of a burden than I already was.

“I think you misheard my thought,” he said with a grin “That wasn't a request. I could make it a demand, if you want.” suddenly a few obscene thoughts made their way into my brain and I shoved them away with some effort “It's no trouble, come on,” he said opening the door for me. He put a hand on my arm to help me down the stairs, and once again I felt a zip of electricity run up my arm. I took one last look around the room and saw Janet giving Michael a significant look, one that he was dutifully ignoring. I wonder what that was for? I questioned.

Once we got to the kitchen door, Katie popped her head out “Thanks for coming, sweetie. Don't you ever hesitate to come back.” I started to smile and respond, but it was interrupted by a huge yawn. I stared at my feet, embarrassed. Katie laughed “Michael, get this girl home before she tips over and falls asleep!” she swatted his arm. Michael gave a snappy salute and clicked his heels before turning and leading me out the door.

We got into the car, and thankfully, none of the things that happened the last time we were in a car together happened. I was exhausted, and not long after the car started up I fell into a deep sleep, lulled by the gentle rocking motion of the car.


Dream

I was back in my parents' house. This was really strange, seeing as I hadn't been there for quite some time. Wandering tentatively around the house, I examined everything. I appeared to be alone.

A noise drifted from the general direction of my parents' room. Suddenly wary, I crept down the hallway, taking care not to make any noise. I snaked my fingers around the door and inched it open. A man sat on the bed. With a sizable amount of relief, I saw that it was my father.

“Dad?” I asked, moving into the room. He looked up. His face was drawn, his eyes sunken. This wasn't the father of my early childhood. This was the drug addict father that I left to go to college. My stomach jolted sickeningly when I saw the needle in his hand and the tourniquet around his arm. No, I thought wildly, This can't be happening.

“Dad, no!” I exclaimed “This stuff can kill you! It's bad for you!” he scoffed at me, but it came out sounding more like a weak cough. My heart shattered into tiny pieces.

And then he broke it a little further “I need this stuff to survive. You don't know what I go through! You don't have a single clue!” I winced at the rasp and pain in his voice.

“Dad,” my voice cracked and almost broke, but I struggled against the overwhelming compulsion to drop at his feet and sob my eyes out “You can get help, you can find other ways to cope. Don't do this. Please.” my eyes welled up and I allowed tears to leak from them silently.

For a moment, it looked like he wanted to believe me, that he wanted to change. But then his eyes hardened and he stabbed the needle into his arm and pushed its contents into his bloodstream expertly.

I screamed as he fell back on the bed, twitching violently. His back arched and with one final spasm he was still. I ran to his side and probed his neck for a pulse. There was nothing there. Just the cooling skin of a person who has recently left this earth. I sobbed as I pushed his hair back from his face and closed his now glazed over eyes.

“Dad,” I choked thickly through a haze of tears “Dad, no! Please come back, I need you. I love you! Come back!” I cried into his chest

“Emily, Emily!” a distorted, muffled voice called my name, over and over again.

End Dream

Michael's POV

Emily must've really been exhausted, because she fell asleep right after the car started moving. Her head tipped toward the window, and soon she was propped up against it. Her face was peaceful with sleep and I couldn't help but watch her breathe in and out, her soft pink lips parted slightly. I wanted to lean over and kiss them right then and there, but I had to keep my eyes on the road or we'd crash. I tried to remember to keep my eyes forward, but they flickered to her slumbering form often.

Her tranquil state didn't last long, though. Soon her eyebrows furrowed and she began to mutter, moving back and forth a little. I didn't think too much of it until she jerked and screamed. It was a scream of pain, of sadness, of loss. I yanked on the wheel and pulled over to the side of the road. She was still screaming and crying, lashing out against the restraining seatbelt. Unbuckling from my seat, I reached over, released her seatbelt, and took her shuddering, spasming form into my arms.

“Emily, Emily! Come on, wake up! It's just a dream, Em!” I said, patting her cheeks lightly. Her eyes flew open wide. They had a wild and frightened look in them. She didn't look like herself.

“I—what—Michael?” she stammered. Her hair fell across her face and I gently pushed it out of her eyes.

“Yeah, it's me. You were having a bad dream.” I said, using my thumbs to wipe of the tears that had appeared on her face. She was still breathing hard, taking big, heaving gasps to try to steady her galloping pulse.

“I kinda figured as much,” she said dryly, trying in vain to inject some humor into the situation. Emily could never stand a tense moment, she always tried to make it more lighthearted. At that moment, I realized that that was one of the many things I liked (loved?) about her.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

She confirmed my suspicion about her reply “Not especially. Where are we anyway?” she craned her neck and arched her back so as to see out the window better. My eyes wandered up her lean torso and rested somewhere north of her belly button and south of her chin. In case you're wondering, it wasn't her neck I was now oggling, thankful for the cloak of darkness to hide the direction my stare was in.

“We're over by UCLA,” I answered, reluctantly tearing my eyes away from her chest and looking her in the eye again “I was gonna wake you up, I'm not sure exactly where to go from here.” she peered out the window again before answering me.

“It's not too much farther from here. Go down two blocks and hang a left, my duplex building is the third one down the street, and mine is the one on the left.” I pulled the car back onto the road.

“Okay, gotcha.” I said. For the remainder of our car ride, we were entirely silent. I kept sneaking glances at her and something told me that she was doing the same.

A few minutes later, we pulled in to her driveway. I got out and held her door open for her. She swung her crutches out and pulled herself out of the car. I walked her to the door. She opened it and turned to go in, but at the last second she turned back to me.

“Thanks for inviting me to dinner, Mike,” she murmured, sending a wave of shivers over my skin. Her green eyes sparkled softly in the lamplights. Instinct took over at this point. I leaned closer to her.

“No problem.” Before I could stop myself, I found my lips on hers. She stiffened for a minute, and then returned the kiss with tender passion. Her soft lips moved gently on mine and I cupped her face in hands, running my fingers along her face like a blind person reads braille. It felt like her mouth was made to meld with mine. After what seemed like eternity she broke away, breathing heavily.

“I guess I forgot to tell you that I've loved you for a long time, huh?” I asked, one of my hands still on her face.

“Yeah, you did,” she chuckled “You're forgetful, but you know what?” she asked, pulling me close again “That's what I love about you.” our mouths meshed for the second time that night. Much too soon, she pulled away and headed inside. I stood on her stoop with a bewildered expression on my face. I'd wanted to do that since I was about seventeen, and the truth is that it was better than I'd ever dreamed it would be.

I drove home in a fog, thoughts swirling through my head at an alarming rate. When I got in the door, it wasn't a surprise to see that Janet had waited up for me. She took one look at me and gave a low chuckle.

She stood up and walked over to me “You,” she said, putting a hand on my shoulder “Are SO in love.” That couldn't have been truer.


Last edited by MJJsGirl4Life on April 30th 2012, 11:04 pm; edited 8 times in total
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MJJsGirl4Life

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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   December 23rd 2011, 11:06 am

Okay, okay, I will. I'm on break now, so I might update more than once.
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   December 23rd 2011, 12:45 pm

yay im waiting on a certain other update before going on again haha have you read my new thread with the update?
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   December 23rd 2011, 1:57 pm

Smile

I've read it, but admittedly I was in a super huge rush, so I don't remember most of it. I do remember thinking it was awesome though!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   December 23rd 2011, 5:43 pm

oh wow lol
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   December 24th 2011, 10:15 am

Ikr? lol I'm so special!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 2nd 2012, 9:33 pm

lol your special butt needa update forreals tho
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 5th 2012, 5:15 pm

My special butt just updated! lol, sorry it's super short but I'm studying my butt off for semester finals, which are worth 50% of our grade for the semester. I'll update soon, promise!

BadAngelness, I just reread both of your recent updates. AMAZING! I loved them! You are a really good writer, and Val is a great character.
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 5th 2012, 6:57 pm

Thanks and you might regret that after the next update.... You beter study your lil butt off cuz you needa get out the house and go to college. Lol don't do drugs and stay in school is my motto( and everybody and they mamas motto). And lol you're special for callin your butt special lol but I liked your update. It's sad though bout what happened to her family Sad but she seems ok bout it. Is she gonna tell Michael? What will he say? Will bacon be served at any time in this story?? Stay tuned lol
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 6th 2012, 6:31 am

WATT? So the mama and the sister killed themselves. Oh honey, NO. Just.....no..... Really cool update though. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 6th 2012, 5:32 pm

BadAngelness, I'm sure I won't.

Trust me, I have been. I really want to go to college. I would never do drugs, I just saw a presentation about heroin use cause it's a gigundo problem where I live. It was super duper scary.

Thanks. She's sorta okay with it, but she's hurting more than she's letting on. And I can't answer any of those or there wouldn't be a fanfic for you to read!!

ILOVERockNRoll, yeah, they did. Is it bad? Well, it's bad that they died, but are you saying it's not good for the fic? Ahh! Now I'm scared!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 6th 2012, 10:07 pm

Hahaha NO! Don't be scared. It's a bad thing for them but a good thing for the story, I think. Don't worry, you're doing fine. Sorry, didn't mean to scare you!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 6th 2012, 10:23 pm

Oh, gotcha! I was worried! I'm really new to the whole fanfic writing thing, so I thought I had done something wrong! Not a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 6th 2012, 11:30 pm

You're doing fine, especially for someone who is new to writing.
OH! Before I forget again, you commented on my story. Did you see the rest of it?
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 7th 2012, 7:41 pm

Man why Are you goin round scarin ppl lyk this is Halloween? Lol Jk but it's good that you're not gonna do drugs unless necsary. Stayin in school and lookin cool makin sure I don't end up a fool
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 9th 2012, 12:31 am

I SCARE PPL BECAUSE I'M THE BOOGEYMAN'S DAUGHTER! I have to carry on my father's legacy when he's gone.I guess I should stop though because he's still going strong,still scaring the piss outta little kids.
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 9th 2012, 5:42 pm

ILOVERockNRoll, I did read your update. What can I say? It's fantastic! I can really feel Peyton's emotions. I can't wait to read more!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 9th 2012, 6:02 pm

That explains everything!!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   January 9th 2012, 6:12 pm

MJJsGirl4Life
Thanks dude.

BadAngelness

Yep!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   February 19th 2012, 4:13 pm

Updated!! I don't have a great excuse for my lateness, other than a badass case of writer's block.

A/N: I know a lot of people hate most of Michael's family, but I didn't find out about all the crap with Jermaine until most of this had formulated in my head. And I know Katherine and some of his other sibs might be milking his legacy a little too much, but I'm trying to forgive them for their lapse in judgment. I still hate LaToya and Joseph though Razz
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 18th 2012, 9:18 pm

Where we go?
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 19th 2012, 10:06 pm

I'm still here!

Didja read my update? Kinda sucks, I know, but I've gotta build on the characters more.
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 20th 2012, 4:17 pm

Awww I'm so happy you chose my title! Glad you updated too because this website was lookin dry as HELL!
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 20th 2012, 4:20 pm

Yeah it was! I'll be updating again today, later on.

I loved your title, and I couldn't think of anything that fit better Smile
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 20th 2012, 6:13 pm

Whooohoo we are back in buisness
Question: should i continue my story or let it die a virgin?
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PostSubject: Re: That's Why I Love You   March 20th 2012, 9:19 pm

Yeah, the forum kinda died for awhile.

CONTINUE!!! I love it and have been waiting for the next update for like, EVER.
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