Title: "Wash and Fold"
Author: monimala
Fandom: General Hospital
Rating/Classification: SAC, Lulu/Milo, humor, romance, AU
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me.
Summary: 2450 words. Just a one-shot Lulu/Milo fic taking place after she and Spinelli are rescued by Sonny's men, but pretending she doesn't go to Tennessee with Jason.

Milo tugs at the collar of his shirt. It's too tight, too starched. He's got to tell Ma to quit doing his laundry. Or he could've just taken Max's advice: "Blend, Man. You gotta blend. Or they'll smell you as a plant right away." But he hates taking his big brother's advice all the time. He does have a brain of his own. So he left the jeans and the T-shirt on his bed (folded) and took out one of the six suits he bought the first week he started working for Mr. Corinthos.

So, now, here he is, outside some big ass lecture hall, as all these kids pour out the doors, tugging at his freaking collar and hoping he doesn't miss Miss Spencer just because Ma got frisky with the Spray 'n' Wash.

God, he's hoping he doesn't miss Miss Spencer.

She's got freckles. He dated a girl with freckles once. Gina Marie Salerno. He took her to Homecoming and she let him get to second base in his uncle Lou's Impala. And if he screws this gig up, he'll probably get buried under third base at the Port Charles community baseball diamond, so he's got to get in gear.

Milo starts chanting his orders under his breath as a couple of guys with those gay brown sandals knock past him. "Follow Miss Spencer. You're her shadow, day, night, every hour in between." Max and Mr. C had both made sure to remind him, "She's Luke Spencer's daughter. You know what that means."

Yeah, he knows what that means. It means he has to keep his eyes on Lesley Lu Spencer and his hands off her…freckles.

"Boo!"

"Auuughhhhh!" He jumps, slamming the back of his head against the wall and reflexively rubbing it.

Miss Spencer is standing right there. Not three inches from him. All big brown eyes and curly blond hair and...holy Hell, he's got to stop staring at her. She's *laughing* at him, checking him out from head to toe and not in the Gina Marie Salerno kind of way. "You need to blend," she advises. "You look like a bodyguard."

"I am a bodyguard!" he huffs, unwilling to admit that Max was right (again).

"Not a very good one," she snorts, shifting her backpack and flipping her hair and completely distracting him.

"Well…" he sputters, clenching his fists so he doesn't mess with his shirt buttons again, "Well, you're not a very good body, okay?"

He's seen Mrs. C make this exact same face, with the eyebrows and the pouty lip and the, "Oh, really?" No wonder Mrs. C. has Max by the balls.

Gulp.

**

Lulu can feel him trailing a few feet behind her as she takes the steps two at a time on her way out of the Science building. Her walking shadow for the past three days. Sonny insisted and Dad agreed, even though Skye promised Mr. Alcazar's murderous impulses are totally in check. And he really does follow her everywhere. The first day, he actually did try to hand her the toilet paper when she had to pee.

She probably would have accepted it if that girl at the sinks hadn't gotten all freaked out and screamed. Poor Milo ran back into the hallway like his pants were on fire.

His pants definitely aren't on fire now. Unless you count that what's in them is pretty hot.

She has to admit it, having a bodyguard isn't really that bad. He looks nice, if totally obvious, in a suit. He holds doors. Nobody bothers her. And he's so, so fun to tease. She even knows the exact minute to stop walking so he'll crash right into her.

"Oof!" He automatically grabs her arms and pulls her against his chest so she doesn't go flying across the quad…and it's a really, really nice chest. Of course, he lets her go even faster, as if he forgot his pot holders or something. "I'm…I'm sorry, Miss Spencer. I'll watch where I'm going."

He turns beet red, stutters, and picks a point somewhere over her head to stare at.

Yeah. *Totally* fun to tease. She grins at him, which only seems to make him even more nervous. Doesn't he, like, kill people for Sonny? How can he manage that but be such a dork about girls? Maybe that's what the Mafia is actually about? It's really some kind of support group for guys who don't know how to deal with women and they shoot things and launder things to make themselves feel manly. That would sure explain why Carly and Sonny had gotten divorced all those times.

"Miss Spencer, we should really keep moving. You shouldn't be so exposed."

He makes it way too easy. "You don't want me exposed?" she wonders, which makes him tug at his collar and turn an even brighter shade of red. She can't help herself. She closes the few feet between them -- he makes a sound like "eep!" -- and makes an executive decision.

"What are you-- ? Miss-- ? Lulu!" Milo gasps as she unknots his tie and shoves into the pocket of his suit jacket. She'd really expected it to be a clip-on, what with all of his nerves he probably choked himself trying to put this on.

"This suit has *got* to go," she informs him, going to work on his shirt buttons. He's apparently too shy to do anything about it, because he just stands there, clenching his fists and biting down on his lip. She gets down to the fifth one with no problem, spreading the two sides of the shirt aside to reveal the supremely fitted white T-shirt beneath. Better. *Much* better. It's when she starts exploring--bring on the dirty laundry 'cause the man has a washboard--that he finally springs into action, grabbing her wrist and stopping her.

"Enough," he tells her, quietly. He's not blushing, not stammering, and he's staring her straight in the eye. "That's enough, Miss Spencer."

His grip is actually kind of tight. His jaw is even tighter. She bets his abs are spectacular. "Milo, you're hurting me," she lies.

"I'm sorry." He lets her go, busies himself shucking off his jacket and folding it over one arm. And her instincts were spot on because he already looks younger. Like somebody who just came from a Student Senate meeting or something. Okay, like somebody wearing a *shoulder* holster who came from a Student Senate meeting.

Her mouth is suddenly dry. In direct proportion to how sweaty her palms are. "Y-you have a permit for that, right?"

"Yeah. I know how to use it, too." Milo glances down at the giant gun strapped to his side like it's no big deal and when he looks back up at her, she Gets It. She sees the guy that drives Sonny around and stands outside his shady meetings and probably dumps bodies in the harbor. She sees the guy who's supposed to throw himself between her and a bullet. And she sees a guy who's completely willing to do it.

Eep.

**

Milo has been shadowing her for a full two weeks when the shots ring out on the Elm Street Pier.

The shooters are from Miami. Not Alcazar's men. And he pushes her down to the ground, returns fire, gets them on the run...though they were going anyway. They just wanted to deliver a friendly message to Sonny's organization. The first hail of bullets takes care of that part. The second...the second is just enough to make sure that he throws up his lunch after he gets Lulu safely tucked at Kelly's with her friends and Mike.

When he comes out of the men's room, still cold and clammy, gun tucked out of sight, Lulu is waiting for him with a washcloth.

"I-I'm sorry, Miss Spencer," he mutters as she presses it to the back of his neck. "They were after me, not you. I put you in danger."

"And you got me out of it," she whispers. The cloth is cool, but her mouth is warm against his cheek.

For just a split second, Milo lets himself lean into her. He stopped wearing the suits, so it's just a thin T-shirt between him and the heat of her. She smells like some spicy, peppery shampoo and he breathes her in. One hit for the road. Then he pulls away, taps down her hand so she moves the cloth.

He calls Mr. C. and tells him that Lulu is safer without their particular brand of protection.

And then he tells her "goodbye."

Nice knowin' ya.

Nice dreamin' about ya.

Okay, so those are the things he doesn't tell her. The things he never will.

**

Finding out where Milo lives is easy with Spinelli's help. She promises the guy a bag of cheese doodles and a copy of "World Warriors III" and five minutes later, she has an address on the east side of PC written down. Ten minutes after that, she's standing on the stoop of a nice two-story brick house probably bought with a couple of years' worth of Corinthos-Morgan "Coffee Importers, Inc." paychecks.

The woman who opens the door is grey-haired and round and pretty much looks like someone ordered her out of the "Italian mother" catalog, except that her eyes have the same twinkle as Max's and her smile...her smile is totally Milo's.

"Ma, who is it? I told you to quit just openin' the door to anybody! You wanna get killed?" The shout comes from the back of the house before Lulu can even say "hi," and she's so shocked to hear Milo actually have *attitude* that she just stands there.

Fortunately, his mother takes over, tugging her inside, clicking her tongue and saying things like, "As if you could be dangerous, Sweetie. Come in, come in. Can I get you something?"

"No. I mean...yes...I mean...i-is Milo here?" she manages to get out (of course Milo's here, Dumbass, you just heard him) as the maternal patter continues with, "You're Milo's girl, aren't you? Ha! I knew he had a girl. He thinks his mother doesn't know anything, but who's he kidding? We mothers know these things."

Lulu has to laugh, since there's no chance of her getting a word in edgewise (This might just explain why Mrs. G's sons are so whipped by women. She'll have to tell Carly sometime). But then Milo appears in the hallway behind his mom and she quits laughing. In fact, she quits breathing altogether.

She hasn't seen him since the day those men shot at them on the docks. He had some other guy come pick her up from Kelly's and take her back to the Quartermaines and then that was it. He's never at Sonny's when she drops by looking for him and Max refuses to pass on messages. So she came to him, to his home turf, where apparently he does things like walk around shirtless and barefoot. And oh man, but his chest is way, way sexier than she could've imagined.

"Lulu, what are you doing here?" he blurts out, losing the attitude she heard in his cross-house yelling and looking more like the guy who followed her everywhere and blushed every time she said more than two words to him.

"I...I wanted to see you." And, Boy, is she.

His mother makes herself scarce with a startling lack of comment. Lulu takes note of that just vaguely before her attention goes back to the sweatpants clinging low on Milo's hips.

"You shouldn't be here," he says, turning towards the stairs. "Mr. C...Mr. C won't like it."

"I don't care what Sonny thinks!" she snaps. After all, it's Sonny who got her into this in the first place. Him and Alcazar and their crazy mob bullshit. But if it wasn't for them, she wouldn't have even met Milo and come to depend on him being two steps behind her at all times. He'd even started carrying her books to and from class. How cool was that? "You just...you disappeared and that wasn't fair!"

"Well, neither were all the tricks you pulled on me all those weeks." He stops on the third step, turns to look at her. "The thing with the bath? Not funny."

"Why? Because you were picturing me actually taking one?" She grins, gives him the full force of her Spencer charm. "All wet and naked…"

He actually stumbles a little on the next step. "Miss Spencer..."

Score.

She moves up to the stairs, just to the first step, inching her hand up the banister towards his. "You saved my life."

"It's part of the job," he reminds her.

Her fingers just barely brush the back of his hand. "I'm not your job now, am I? So what are you gonna do?"

She watches the rise and fall of his chest, the way he keeps swallowing, the red that tinges his cheeks. Milo is...sweet. She's never really known a guy who fit that description. Definitely not one who works out and has weapons training. Except her brothers but they don't count.

"Lulu, my ma is just down the hall." That has to be the lamest excuse for not kissing her that she's ever heard. Probably that he's ever used, judging by his expression.

When she gets to the step just below him, she reaches out and touches his chest. Just like she did that day at PCU. Only this time, there's no shirt in the way. There's just skin. Warm, taut skin. She cocks her head, gently tracing every can in his six pack. "Haven't you heard, Milo? I'm your girl."

Just like that day, he grabs her wrist.

"Didn't I tell you once that's enough?"

And then he pushes her against the banister, digs his free hand into her hair, and lowers his head. She meets him more than halfway, arching up the few inches to his lips. "Sweet" is not the description for the way Milo kisses. More like "smokin'" and "fierce," and "so intense that her head explodes." He kisses her jaw, her cheeks, even the freckles across the bridge of her nose that she can't stand. He whispers that she's "freaking beautiful," and she almost believes him.

Lulu can feel every single inch of him. Right here, on the brightly lit stairs, with his ma just down the hall. And she doesn't care. She wants to guard this body, follow it anywhere and everywhere, and burn anything in his wardrobe that has buttons and collars.

Then, she feels his big hands sliding down to the hem of her sweater, tugging upwards. She gasps out, "Wh-what are you doing?" against his mouth at the first touch of his palm against her spine.

"Babe…this shirt?" he chuckles, huskily. "It's *got* to go."

--end--

December 4, 2006.



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