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and we'll take a cup o' kindness yet

jenn (surreallis)

stargate: sg-1

amanda tapping/michael shanks


this was written for surreallis with the prompt 'running into each other at a party after he left the show during season 6.' thank you, amatia, for betareading for me!

When she glances about the room and sees Michael, her eyes light up, and her smile outshines every single strand of lights draped around the room.

Of course Michael gets an invitation. It's Chris that's hosting the New Year's Eve party, after all. He shows up, and Chris shoves a drink at him. "Hey, man," he says, a wide grin on his face. "How are things?"

"Good," says Michael, and he mostly means it. The colored lights that Chris and Gianna have strung around the tops of the walls blink festively, and there are groups of people clustered about talking with each other. The low buzz of conversation flows around him.

He pretends it doesn't sting when he sees Rick and Corin talking. After all, Rick gives him a quick smile, and claps him on the shoulder to say hello on a pass through the room. Michael chats with Don over by the punch bowl, quietly talking about the auditions he's been on, and the opportunities he's had since they filmed his last episode.

Lexa's not around any more; he suspects that Chris' kids have dragged her off to play video games. She always takes it with good humor, since they're not always used to having an adult around who likes that sort of thing. Besides, it leaves Michael free to catch up without worrying about whether Lexa is entertained.

He sees Amanda from across the room. She hands her coat to Allan and she gives him a peck on the cheek, then turns away as he slips off to hang up their heavy wool coats.

Michael shivers. He's been away from home way too long; he's freezing and he knows it's not really that cold. It's just that he's been spending too much time knocking on doors in Hollywood.

When she glances about the room and sees Michael, her eyes light up, and her smile outshines every single strand of lights draped around the room.

Forget the cold; he's forgotten how beautiful Amanda is. He can't imagine how he could forget something so obvious.

Amanda makes her way around the room, and, somehow, Michael always manages to keep her in sight. She has a flute of champagne in one hand, and her free hand waves in the air, pausing slightly to rest on someone's forearm. Sometimes she taps her fingers against the bottom of her glass, and Michael notices eventually that's when she glances over at him.

It's interesting how the knowledge that Amanda is nervous sets off a firestorm of thoughts. Is she nervous because it's awkward for him to be off the show, and at Chris' party? Is it because she's been glancing in his direction every few minutes?

Michael's pretty sure it's not because of the giant hug that Rick is giving her, even though she's laughing at him and waving at Teryl, who's waving at her from where she's standing by the punch bowl.

"So," says Amanda, when she finally makes his way over to him. She meets his eyes, chin up, and smiles in a way that's nothing like when she's playing Sam Carter.

Either smile still blows him away, though.

"Hey," he says quietly. They're in an alcove near the coat closet, and it almost feels like the music dims to a quiet hush.

"Michael, hi," says Amanda, and she taps her fingertips on the bottom of her glass again. Just once this time. "How are things going?"

"Good, good," he says, leaning slightly back. "Things are good. Getting a lot done."

"The hours aren't as much of a killer, I'd guess," says Amanda, and he thinks her voice is a little dry. "Any good auditions?"

"Not much at the moment, but no one auditions in late December." Michael shrugs. He's getting some work. It's not as steady a paycheck as it would be if he were still working on Stargate, but Lexa's got plenty going on, and that's enough to keep them financially sound for now. "I just plan on enjoying the holidays."

"Any exciting plans?" asks Amanda. She sips at her drink, and Michael just grins at her. Is it his imagination, or does that make her take another drink to cover a just-this-short of stunned expression? He hopes it's not just his imagination.

"We might take a trip somewhere besides Los Angeles," he says. "Maybe we'll fly to the Phillipines. It'd be nice to get away for a while."

"Tell me about it," says Amanda. She leans back against the wall and looks him over. "You're looking good, though. Not as stressed out."

"You're just saying that so I tell you that you always look good, aren't you?" asks Michael. He's teasing her, and they're falling back into the comfortable banter he remembers. Five seasons of working together don't leave much room for awkwardness.

She doesn't reply, just gives him a wry grin that leaves what she's thinking open for speculation.

"Almost midnight!" calls Chris, breaking the moment. He's beaming at the entire room, and the look he gives Michael and Amanda when they startle and glance at each other is curious. Shit. Michael's going to cross his fingers and pray that Chris doesn't start bugging him about this whatever-it-is that he can barely admit to himself, much less talk about. Even with his best friend.

"Whoops," says Amanda, looking sheepish. "Guess we got caught up while catching up." She leans forward and gives him a hug, then an impulsive peck on the cheek. "See you later, Michael."

"Yeah," echoes Michael. He thinks his cheek is tingling as he watches her walk away. "Later, Amanda."

Maybe he'll call his agent and see if he's burned his bridges at Stargate too irrevocably. Even with all his frustration with Daniel's storyline, things there had been nice.



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jenn (surreallis)

2007-12-25 17:18:04

Yay! Thank you so much! I love it! I just want to know so much more about what went on during season 6 with the actors, and, of course, none of us will ever really know. So, fic does the job nicely. It's just what I was envisioning with my request!:) :) :)