Written for comment_fic on Livejournal

Prompt was Burn Notice/Leverage, Michael/Eliot , rules of engagement

Note: Michael on Burn Notice is a spy who is a very good fighter (and does voiceovers that tell viewers how to think like a 'spy,' how to safely run a con, how to manage assets, etc.).

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Michael's Voiceover:

Hooking up is like anything else. It goes smoother if you have a few rules of engagement to guide you.

First of all, if it's obvious he's giving you a fake name, go with it. After all, you're doing the same to him.

And if he looks a little too alert, if it's clear he's the kind of guy who always knows where the exits are, don't panic. He could just be a guy who's seen some action, and not the good kind. It doesn't mean he knows who you are. Maybe he's just tired of being with guys who couldn't win a fistfight with a drunk kitten.

And if he has a lot of scars, don't ask about them. He'll tell you if he wants to.

And don't freak out if he kicks or yells a little in his sleep. To guys like this, a nightmare is screaming loud enough for dolphins to hear, and sweating buckets, and thrashing around at memories and images you can't get out of your head no matter how hard you try. If it's just some aggressive rolling around and cover-hogging, and the only thing he yells are "I really don't like guns," and "that girl's not right," then it's probably just a regular dream. Though you still shouldn't mention anything he said.

And most importantly, in the morning, don't ask if you'll see him again. He may not know when he'll be in town again. He may not even know if he'll survive the day. Questions make guys like this nervous. It's much more effective to quietly steal his hairbrush. If he traipses all the way back to your place for the sake of a $2 brush, then you know he wants to see you again.