"Sorry I'm late. I was sitting in my car for the past ten minutes with your head in the crosshairs of a rifle... wondering if I should shoot the man who ruined my life."


"Has Jesse shown up yet?"

Michael sighed at the question. Fiona knew the answer. She was only asking to calm her nerves. "No."

"Michael... maybe you should just go," Fiona suggested, sounding uncharacteristically weary. "I figured-"

It may seem cliche, but time really does seem to slow sometimes. There are times when the adrenaline pulsing through your veins is so much that it heightens your senses enough that you're able to take in minute detail much more clearly than you'd think was possible.

Michael saw the large glass window of the diner shatter, the fracture point admitting in an angry and fast bullet. Knowing there was no possible way to avoid being hit, Michael dropped from the stool anyway. He forgot completely about the woman working at the diner, about the phone in his hand and Fiona on the other end of the line.

Then came the pain. As slow as time was moving, Michael could feel the bullet penetrate his skin, dig through his collar bone right below the neck, make it's way through muscle and back out his shoulder blade. Bone fractured painfully around the bullet holes, both enter and exit. Sinew ripped apart. Warm, dark blood quickly began it's escape from his body. His drop to the floor turned into a collapse. He hit the ground hard, the impact making the screaming pain turn into a terrible shriek.

The woman working behind the counter was screaming. Faintly, Michael could pick out Fiona frantically calling his name but, even if he had the capability to pick the phone back up and speak, he had no idea where the phone was. He'd lost all movement in his arm on the side the bullet had hit. His breath was panicked and only getting worse as blood swirled up in his throat. Everything was blurred, spots of black and grey steadily growing and taking over his vision.

Red. He made a concentrated effort to focus on the increasing amount of red. It wasn't a comforting color, and he couldn't be sure if his vision was tinted or there was just really that amount of blood. But it wasn't grey and it wasn't black. It was alive. It was conscious. While trying to stay awake took a great deal of strength, it was better than the alternative option. With the alternative option, his chances of seeing another sunny Miami day decreased significantly.

If he could only... just... focus...


What had just happened? He'd been shot. This was why he was in so much pain. Why he was having this trouble focusing.

Who had shot him? Jesse. That had to be it. Jesse had known exactly where he was, when he'd be there and that he'd be alone.

Why had Jesse shot him? Because Michael had burned him. Ruined his life. And lied about it. Because Jesse had sworn he wouldn't rest until Michael was six feet under. Because Jesse was angry, enraged as the red taking over everything Michael could see.

Where was Jesse now? Would he step in and make sure to finish the job? Or would he run? Run away and be sure to be long gone before any sirens started blaring? And what if, by some miracle, Michael survived this? Would Jesse try again? Could Michael hide, keep on the run, to save his life? Would he?

Michael's breathing was becoming less frantic. But he was pretty sure that wasn't a good thing. The grey and black were returning and warm liquid was spilling from his lips. He knew he wouldn't be able to hold on much longer. His fate would lie solely in any help that was hopefully on it's way. Emergency Rescue or Sam and Fiona. Maybe even the poor woman who had to be scared out of her mind.

Thought started to slow as well. Michael fought it, trying hard to hold on to anything to keep himself conscious. Tactics, details of old missions, names, dates, languages. Nate. Ma. Sam. Fiona.

But it wasn't enough.

A final sigh bubbled past his lips and his eyes closed just as the sound of sirens filled the night air.

A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!