A/N: Written in six minutes. Not entirely happy with it. Blah.

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Sam always thought Michael was insane getting involved with that trigger happy harpy.

Still thinks so to a certain degree.

But somehow, the more time he's forced to spend with Fi, he starts to understand the attraction.

Because he feels it himself, though he doesn't like to admit it. Would never admit it. Not to his friend, not to her and most definitely not to himself.

She's feisty, that alone gets her points in Sam's book. She's got nerves of steel...She's a good little spy. She doesn't rattle easily…

Sam respects her.

That doesn't mean he likes her any more than he did when he first laid eyes on her, but he does feel a certain sense of respect, beneath all the layers of sarcasm and all the biting comebacks he tosses in her direction.

He's traveled the world, after all, and he's dealt with his fair share of female spies…Italy, England, Japan…

They were all good, but somehow, Fiona is better. She's the only one who's ever matched him blow for verbal blow. The others--all the exotic beauties that haunt his past when he was a real spy--they all either wound up dead (at his hands or at the hands of others) or he was able to charm them into compliance.

Not so with Fiona. He's tried the charm to find that all she wants to do is roll her eyes and cut him down to size with an appropriately vicious remark…

He doesn't know when he starting falling for that acerbic disposition and that biting wit, but he does fall.

Hard.

He falls for Fiona harder than he's fallen for any other woman in his sordid past…

And there've been many.

He falls for Fi harder than he did for the lovely, deadly Italian who tried to knife him in the back…harder than the gorgeous Geisha in disguise who attempted something a bit more sophisticated with a poisonous kiss…

He plummets into infatuation for Fiona so quickly and so completely he seems to drown in the sudden strange wash of foreign emotion that ambushes him as surely as any trained assassin would. It just came out of nowhere and he can't get rid of it. He tries to play it off, tries to pretend he doesn't keep catching himself glancing at her when she won't notice it…

Damn it, he's so smitten he's bordering on lovesick.

And he hates it.

There are a few times…when Michael isn't around…when he's all alone with her and she's within arms reach and she's being so God damned infuriating that he has to drive away the urge to grab her and shut her up in the most appealing way he can think of…

After all, a kiss is a lovely trick of nature for use when words become superfluous…

But either through sheer strength of will or pure cowardice, he doesn't make a move. Much as he wants to, he knows he'll never make a move.

She's his friend's ex-girlfriend. The only friend he's got right now…he can't risk that. Just can't.

Some shred of the morality he used to have refuses to be stomped out of existence by what he's become--refuses even when he's half drunk and she's right there driving him as nuts as ever…

He can't decide who he's angrier at and why.

He could be angry at Michael, for bringing her into his life; he could be angry at her for knowing all the right buttons to push; he could blame himself for feeling something he knows damn good and well he shouldn't feel…

But at the end of the day, the reasons don't really matter. She's still got a thing for Michael, and he's still got a thing for her…

And Sam watches, somewhat envious, from the outskirts of their little group, knowing that even if she and Michael didn't have 'Soon to be reunited' written all over their every move and every word, general convention says you never ever, ever date a friend's ex.

Even if he decided to acknowledge that he feels something for her other than barely contained contempt, she'd still be off limits.

Life just ain't fair…

And love is even less fair.