Title: Let's Pretend
Summary: On a drive to meet with Sam, Fiona and Michael find a way to pass the time, doing what burned spies and black arms dealers are forbidden to do- play the game of 'Let's Pretend.'
Length: About 1,500 Words, give or take
Pairing: Miona (semi-one sided, but not really)
Please let me know what you think of my venture into Burn Notice.
Michael Westin kept his foot on the gas as he drove through the streets of Miami. Beside him, Fiona rested, her eyes closed as she napped. She mumbled quietly to herself as she slept, and Michael wasn't able to resist the sad smile that he sent her way. It had been so long, since they had a moment just the two of them, completely at ease with one another, in a companionable silence.
"Michael?" Fiona mumbled, her eyes still closed, but he knew she was awake from the way her body instantly tensed, ready to ward off a blow from any direction. For a moment, the former spy felt a trace of regret for causing her to be this way. However, he pushed the thought aside, instead reaching out a callused hand to run through her brunette sun-streaked hair.
"Yeah, Fi?" he asked, keeping his eyes on the road, his face expressionless, his voice emotionless except for a trace of warmth. He didn't need the silence between the two of them though, because both of them were natural talkers when it was just the two of them.
"Let's play a game to pass the time," she suggested, and Michael glanced at her, surprised. Knowing her, it was probably something along the lines of shooting Target signs, but it was hard to tell. They had been in the car for hours, waiting for Sam to call so they could stop driving in circles.
"Like what?" he returned his eyes to the road, staring intently at the pavement as though it could hold the answers he needed. He knew that it would take more than gravel he was driving over to resolve the problems with Management, clients, his lost jobs, the man he had indirectly burned, and the woman with a hand on her gun beside him.
"What road games do you know?" Fiona asked, and Michael suppressed a sigh.
"Little to none. Normally I would plot out my next mission," he said helpfully and she groaned. He glanced at her and said defensively, "Fiona, spies don't typically play road games."
"The only one I know is the pretending game," Fi sighed, and Michael shot her another glance, this one casually curious.
"Pretending game?" Michael couldn't keep the question out of his voice, and he saw her nod out of the corner of his eye.
"You ask the other person a question. Like for instance, I could ask you, what if Sam never calls?" Fiona gave him a coy smile, and Michael sighed.
When you're a spy, there are some things you can never do. Never get trapped in the past, never tell yourself what if, never think about what could have been. If you do any of that, you'll drive yourself crazy, become depressed. Kill yourself. Operatives go through it all the time. It's the oldest temptation in the book.
"Then we'll find him," Michael told her, his voice calm and smooth.
"Alright," Fiona said thoughtfully, tapping her foot as she thought. "What if Nate gambles away all your money?"
Michael shot a glare at her, nothing coming to mind for a moment. "I'm going to lock him in my mom's house and never let him touch a credit card again."
Fiona glanced at him, her grayish hazel eyes narrowing slightly as her tone sharpened. "Your turn," she commanded and Michael sighed, his light eyes meeting hers. He ruffled a hand through his dark hair, and thought for a moment. He paused, and said quietly, still serious.
"What if Simon comes back?" he asked, and her eyes widened before sharpening.
"Then I'll shoot his-" she began, but Michael cut her off quickly.
"Fi," he said quietly and she broke herself off, pausing as she thought of another question.
"What if we never met?" she asked, and Michael jerked, his façade broken through easily.
"We'd be dead," he said softly. "You would have been shot long ago, and my operations would have been blown a long time ago," he muttered, his gaze blurring with memories. "And we'd be alone."
"You'd still have Sam, and Nate, and your mom," she pointed out, and he resisted the urge to shrug.
"It wouldn't be the same," his voice was still soft, and she bit her lip, thinking of a way to get him to open up. He spent so much time locked down and emotionless, that one day he was just going to explode from everything he refused to show to the rest of the world.
You don't ever think of a better way to do things, or what you could have done to change it. It just doesn't work, because you can't do anything to change it. Eventually, you're going to wonder if you can change anything now, and you'll get stuck with the memories of the bad ops in your head.
"What if Claire never died?" she asked, and Michael jumped again, glaring at her.
"Can you drop this?" he asked, his voice testy and short. She looked up at him, and he sighed, pulling her close with one arm when he noticed the hurt in her eyes.
"I'm sorry," she muttered, looking up at him through long lashes. "But… sometimes, you just have to wonder. There were so many times where everything could have gone wrong," she looked up at him when his arm tensed around her. She saw the pain in his blue eyes as he slammed on the breaks and looked at her, his expression set.
"We can't think back," he said. "We'll get ourselves killed thinking about it. We'll freeze up," he said darkly, and her eyes widened slightly.
"Michael," she began, but she fell silent as he pulled her closer. She leaned her head against his chest and he felt, rather than heard, her sigh. He shook his head slowly, knowing that she too was relaxing in the shared closeness, the calm before the storm. In their way of life, any moment could be there last. They couldn't whisper soft promises to each other, and promise to be there forever. All they could do was live for the moment, and try to hang on. When they couldn't hang on, all they could do was pick up the pieces and move on with their lives, not looking back and not regretting anything.
He sighed, and Fiona felt that for a moment, he was about to say something that could change everything. She waited, anticipating the words, which could be anything. However, the only thing she received was the shrilling ringing of a phone, and him pulling away. She glanced down as he started the car, and felt so many words on the tip of her tongue.
She didn't let any of them fall off, however, and instead grabbed her gun and began roughly loading it.
She had a job to do, and wouldn't let one of those rare and peaceful moments be shattered by her blurting out words that would only create awkwardness between them, because he wasn't ready to say them yet.
She was ready to wait though, however long it took for him to realize the truth.
When he fell, she would be waiting to catch him. Time after time, she would wait patiently for him to realize what he couldn't bring himself to think about.
Fiona loved him, every irrepressible inch of him, the quirks he tried to hide, the feelings he didn't refuse to show, and what he did to keep others safe.
If she had told anyone, like Sam, or Shawn, they would have rolled their eyes or laughed. If she told Madeline, she would sigh and say something along the lines of "about time" while puffing on a cigarette, if she told Michael, he would stare at her, and retreat away, inside of himself, probably wondering how he couldn't have noticed, or how he had let it happen.
So she kept the words close inside of her, and didn't mention it to anyone.
It was better that way.
Fiona still let him know, through her loyalty and protectiveness, he refusal to let it go when he needed to know he screwed up. It was her way, after all, and even if she made herself lock words inside of her. She couldn't stop herself from blindly following him along every road he decided might be a good idea to go on.
She would sit back, and let him decide when to move things further along. She would remain quiet, and not mention a thing to him. Fi knew that she was being a coward, but it was better this way.
This way, neither of them had to be alone anymore.