Michonne slammed the door shut with a scowl. So they were under guard; even if they weren't locked in, it was still an indignity and more importantly, it pissed her off.
Her fingers itched for the hilt of a sword that wasn't at her hip.
Her eyes finally caught Andrea's and the blonde gave a little smile.
"I don't like it either." Andrea said.
She toed off her boots and threw off the top she was wearing so she was in her faded yellow tank and cargo pants. She went to the window and looked out at the desolate street below.
"Hard to believe it really exists, huh?" She said.
"Hard to believe people are stupid enough to stay here," Michonne muttered bitterly.
Andrea turned to the woman and shot her a chiding glare.
"I'm sorry," Michonne said quietly. "Just feels wrong here."
"That's okay. I feel it too. But you can't blame 'em for craving a little normality. I get that at least." Andrea said.
"They're just pretending. Nothin's normal anymore." Michonne said. Once again, Andrea wondered just what that meant to the woman, personally. What her stories were beyond the bare-minimum details she'd divulged over seven months. As always, she was afraid to push her. Instead she looked to the shower in the corner.
"Do you mind if I rinse off? It's been so long I can hardly remember what it feels like," Andrea said with a smirk.
"You want me to wait outside?" Michonne asked. She seemed eager to do so.
"And banish you to the company of our guard, Mr. Personality out there? No way," Andrea laughed. "In fact, I was going to suggest we just hop in together, to save on water. Pretty sure you're as rank as I am." Andrea said.
Michonne's eyes went wide.
"Or one after the other if it bothers you," Andrea added with a smile. "Are you really that uncomfortable? We've seen each other naked before. Washed in lakes, slept in the same bed more times than I can count." Andrea was amused by her friend's nervousness. And she intended to milk every last drop.
Michonne for her part didn't know how to respond. She didn't like being called out on her discomfort. She also was afraid of being in close quarters with Andrea sans-clothing. Sure, they'd seen each other bare. But those times were usually only glimpses and they were never close enough to actually... touch each other.
She glanced over at the shower in the corner. It was small. Very small. There wouldn't be any room to maneuver or avoid contact. Still she felt like Andrea was challenging her. And she hated backing down from a challenge.
Michonne locked eyes with the blonde and lifted her chin defiantly.
"I don't mind." Michonne said. She began to remove her clothing, piece by piece.
Andrea smirked and followed suit. When she was down to her underwear, she turned on the taps and tested the temperature. She felt a shiver as Michonne came up behind her, her small frame bare and warm at her back.
Michonne stepped into the shower first while Andrea shucked the last pieces of clothing and followed her in. From this vantage point, with so little room to move, their noses were only a few inches apart.
At the same time, they both glanced down at each other's bodies then back up to lock eyes, each mildly surprised at the other. They burst out laughing at their mirrored motion. Andrea laughed hardest, her hand falling to Michonne's shoulder, momentarily forgetting their nakedness, leaning in to make sure she didn't fall over.
"Oh god," Andrea tried to catch her breath amidst laughter. Michonne tried not to register the lightness of Andrea's chest brushing hers for the barest second.
"Is there even any soap in here?" Andrea said, finally settling down a bit.
"Uhhh..." Michonne tried to turn around, a rather difficult feat in the tiny chamber. Andrea tried to give her more room and nearly fell through the shower curtain in the process. "Yeah, there's some here." Michonne said as she picked up the fresh bar of soap.
"Well give it to me, I'll do your back." Andrea said as she reached around the woman's waist and held out her hand.
Michonne stared at the hand being held in front of her stomach, dangerously low. She froze.
"Or... not?" Andrea prompted. Michonne smacked the bar of soap into the hand which promptly disappeared around to her back and began to lather. Michonne tensed at first but then relaxed into the strokes.
Andrea marveled at how smooth and soft the woman was. She was such a contradiction - guarded and solid and tough as hell, but still so soft. So warm.
"Okay, my turn." Andrea said. She curled her arm around Michonne's waist again, relishing the woman's little flinch as she did so, and handed the bar of soap off to her. They each turned around, switching positions awkwardly and Michonne timidly dragged the soap across the pale back in front of her.
"Don't be shy," Andrea cooed. Michonne didn't usually respond well to demands, but for some reason Andrea's directions never felt so demanding. They felt encouraging. She lathered the woman's back more confidently, using her other hand to work it over the small shoulders, the slender hips. Andrea nearly jumped out of her skin.
"Shit!" She cried.
Michonne jumped backwards and nearly cracked her head on the wall of the shower.
"What?" Michonne said.
"I'm sorry," Andrea said, laughing again. "I'm really ticklish. Should've warned you. You finish up with the soap and then hand it back over."
When they were sufficiently dried off, they reluctantly slipped back into their clothes, Andrea opting for her underthings and the tank top and Michonne throwing back on everything but her brown vest.
"Are you really going to sleep in pants?" Andrea asked with a smirk. She pulled her hair back out of her face and tied it up.
"Yeah." Michonne said defensively. "So?"
"Nothing. I don't care if you're comfortable, but you might." Andrea turned down the sheets and climbed all the way in before she noticed Michonne making up the couch against the wall with a blanket.
"What are you doing?" Andrea asked.
"What do you mean?" Michonne replied. She knew exactly what the woman meant. She simply chose not to acknowledge it.
"You are not sleeping on the couch. This bed is huge." Andrea said. Not to mention they were both pretty small. There was no excuse not to share the space.
Michonne rolled her eyes.
"Come on, we've slept in the same bed before. Hell, we've slept in the same sleeping bag before. Didn't hear you complaining then." Andrea added. "Now get your ass over here."
Michonne flicked the overhead light off and crossed the room to the other side of the bed. She plopped down and slid under the covers. The difference was that tonight they'd been in the shower together, they'd had their hands on each other's bodies. For some reason, this changed things for Michonne.
"Michonne?" Andrea's voice sounded very small in the dark.
"Could you...?" Andrea trailed off, her voice sad. "Never mind."
Michonne rolled her eyes again in the dark. Andrea played this game sometimes, becoming suddenly shy or afraid to ask for what she wanted. But in this case, it was at least a demand Michonne was already familiar with.
She shuffled a little closer to the other form in bed, feeling the heat radiating off of the blonde's half-bare body. Michonne slipped her arm under Andrea's and around her waist and the woman sighed contentedly.
Michonne waited for a little while, feeling Andrea's breathing settle and slow as she fell asleep, partly from the last bits of illness, the drugs she'd been given in the Woodbury clinic, and her exhaustion.
Michonne did not fall asleep. She waited just long enough for Andrea to be deeply asleep and slipped out of the bed as quietly as possible. She padded across the room and sat on the couch, keeping both the door to the room and Andrea in her eye line.
She couldn't get comfortable here. Not enough to sleep. Every inch of her bristled with unease, like a wolf in a hunter's cage. It was too much - the town, the smarmy leader, the psychotic general, the makeshift walls that made people believe, foolishly, that they'd be safe from the horrors of the world outside.
Were they really safe? Or just more ignorant?
Michonne sat and waited. She would not sleep. She couldn't.
She might've sat the whole night through in wakefulness if Andrea hadn't woken up coughing only a half hour later. Michonne immediately moved to her side, soothing the woman's back. Andrea sat up and finally spent her coughing. She took a few deep breaths to steady herself.
When she was in a better state, she turned to Michonne.
"Thanks. Why weren't you in bed?"
"Couldn't sleep." Michonne said.
"You know why."
"Get back into bed." Andrea said.
"No." Michonne replied.
"Get back into bed. Now." Andrea practically purred this time, though the tone behind it was still firm, demanding.
Michonne shook her head but allowed Andrea to pull her by the arm into bed with her, under the covers once more. This time, Andrea pulled Michonne's back into her and Michonne tucked her dreads under her head so they wouldn't envelope the blonde's face.
Andrea looped her arm around Michonne's waist, appreciating the little reversal. She wanted to give the woman comfort, even if she thought she didn't want any.
She could feel the muscles of Michonne's stomach tighten under her hand and she smiled.
"Just relax," Andrea said softly, practically in a whisper. She pressed her body in closer to Michonne's. She moved her hand from Michonne's stomach to her back, brushing over it in little circles, trying to calm her.
Michonne started to ease, the tension slipping away bit by bit.
Then Andrea felt something strange, a little knot in her stomach and a sudden urge to plant a kiss on her friend's shoulder, on the smooth, soft skin she'd been admiring earlier.
No sooner had she felt the urge then she found herself following it, placing her lips lightly against Michonne's shoulder blade.
Michonne didn't move at first. Then she felt Andrea's lips leave and plant themselves again and again, covering the patch of skin in light kisses.
Before she could plant another, Michonne turned over in bed to face her. The barest light came in through the windows, hardly enough to see anything, but their faces were so close that Michonne thought she could make out a smile on the woman's lips.
Michonne leaned forward, meaning to kiss the woman's lips for real. She'd wanted to for weeks now.
But Andrea put her hand to the woman's mouth to stop her.
"I'm still sick, remember?" Andrea said the knowing smirk now obvious in her voice.
"I don't care," Michonne mumbled.
"I do. You've been at risk enough as it is just being around me. Now turn back over."
Michonne glared at her imperceptibly in the dark. She took Andrea's hand in her own and planted a kiss against her knuckles instead. She rolled back over again, her back pressed to Andrea's chest, and sighed.
The blonde was aggravating, bossy, talkative, and downright frustrating.
And Michonne had never felt more comfortable than she did then, tucked under Andrea's arm.