Disclaimer: Burn notice doesn't belong to me unfortunately. If it did then well, we'd have more ship for a start!
Spoilers: Major ones for 5x08
A/N: At the moment I'm still processing that episode and I needed to do something with that last scene. I hope you all like it.
Many thanks as always for all of your reviews for my previous stories, it's very humbling.
Huge thanks to Purdy's Pal for looking over this for me and to DaisyDay for her encouragement to write.
They left the restaurant portraying the perfect couple, smiling happily for Madeline and her new 'friend' Ben. Fiona plastered on the fake smiles and piled on the charm, played the dutiful, doting girlfriend, but simmering just below the surface was a deep seated heartache that was eating away at her conscience.
Michael stole glances at her throughout dinner, hoping that the tension he could feel rolling off of her was just some misguided jealousy when she'd found out that Agent Pearce was actually an attractive woman. But somehow he recognised that it ran far deeper than just jealousy.
She was agitated and distracted, but he knew trying to talk to her about it would only fuel her anger, something he had learned from her a long time ago. So, he'd let it simmer, knowing even before they reached the loft that she would be bound to explode at any time.
So he followed her up the stairs watching her closely, waiting for the eruption of words that he knew would follow. But even when she opened the door and walked on inside, he could feel something shift in the atmosphere.
Swallowing hard he closed the door behind him and flipped the lock, watching her silently walk around the kitchen to reach for a glass. He wanted to tell her he was sorry for leaving her. That he was sorry for not telling her about Agent Pearce, but she didn't give him a chance.
"Drink?" she asked snippily as she poured herself a large glass of wine before lifting it to her lips to down it in one gulp.
"Fi," he spoke her name as softly as he could and fingered the envelope inside his jacket pocket. Taking it out, he looked down at it thoughtfully, realising that this information may have cost her more than the job she did.
Making his way towards her he placed the envelope on top of the table before joining her in the kitchen.
She was pouring herself another large glassful of wine when he reached out to still her movements, taking the bottle and glass forcefully from her tightly gripped fingers.
"Don't you think you've had enough for one night?" he asked her, his voice rising in frustrated annoyance.
Fiona turned on him then, her fierce eyes wild with fury.
"What are you now, my father?" she growled angrily. "Since when do you ever care about how I feel?"
Pushing passed him; she stalked out of the kitchen and towards the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
Michael's mind raced when he looked from the envelope on the table to the closed bathroom door. What the hell had happened while he was away? Reaching for his phone he dialled Sam's number and walked out onto the balcony when his friend answered.
"How was the job Mikey?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing," Michael told him. "Did something happen that I should know about, Sam?"
"Like what, Mike?" Sam asked. "We got the job done and Fi delivered the truck to her mysterious friend. What else is there?"
"Oh I don't know…" Michael lowered his voice and looked behind him for any signs of Fiona. "Did something happen with Fi while I was gone?"
"Happen how? I don't know what you mea—"
"With this friend of hers…did something happen?"
"I don't know what to tell you brother. Fi has been secretive about the whole damn thing and I'm not afraid to admit that when she's quiet, she's scary…"
Michael shook his head and closed his eyes, this was worse than he thought. "How quiet?"
"Like the not wanting to talk about it, quiet," Sam told him worriedly. "If something happened don't you think you should ask her about it. She hasn't spoken hardly two words to me since she got back?"
The bathroom door opened again and Michael quickly whispered a rushed goodbye before closing the phone. When he came in from the balcony she was sitting on the edge of the bed staring at a row of guns that he hadn't noticed before.
He was torn between going to her side and keeping his distance. He knew from experience that she was like a ticking time bomb and never gave up her secrets willingly. But she was also his…what? Not just his girlfriend, not just his lover…when he'd made the toast to supportive partners, he'd meant it in every sense of the word. She was his partner, his other half, his better side…whatever anyone wanted to call it, but she was all of those and a whole lot more.
Taking a breath he moved over towards her, standing in front of her still form before reaching out to lay a hand on her shoulder.
"I got a man killed," she told him suddenly, her voice dripping with disdain. "I didn't know until after…when Armand gave me the information on your bomber…but his blood is on my hands nevertheless."
Michael's breath caught in his throat as he came closer to sit down onto the bed beside her. His fingers trailed down from her shoulder and over her arm to come to rest on her thigh.
"Fi…" he kept his voice soft as he spoke, trying to coax her eyes to his own, but she stayed where she was, tense and unmoving. "I'm sorry I wasn't here."
"What difference does it make whether you were here or not?" she asked him then, turning to face him with haunted eyes. "It got you what you needed."
"At what price though, Fi?" Michael asked her then, reaching around to pull her hand in his. "What happened?"
She shook her head defiantly and refused to look at him. "It doesn't matter."
"It matters to me," he told her, refusing to let her turn away. Reaching out with his other hand he tugged her gently until her body fully turned to face him.
"Why?" she asked him then, imploring him to just let it go. "It's over; you got what you wanted so just let it go."
Swelling fear welled in his chest when every possible scenario raced through his mind. Swallowing hard he asked her the one scenario that he feared the most. "Did he…touch you?"
"What?" her voice rose as she tried to pull out of his grip, anger flaring in her words. "You think I would let any man touch me when I didn't want him to?"
"Then what happened?" he implored, gripping her tighter. "What did he do to you?"
Fiona stilled suddenly and turned her head to meet his gaze. She could see the worry etched in his eyes and she knew he didn't deserve her anger, but he had already planted the seeds of doubts she had in her head, Armand had only helped them to grow.
"He didn't do anything," she told him defiantly and yanked her hands from his to get up from the bed. She moved away from him and began to pace back and forth, avoiding his gaze.
"Why didn't you tell me Agent Pearce was an attractive woman?" she asked him suddenly when she stopped her pacing to face him head on. "What did you think I would do?"
"I don't know," he sighed heavily before coming to stand in front of her, stilling her movements with his hands on her shoulders.
"Did you think I would be jealous?" she asked him angrily, stepping away from him to walk towards Armand's gifts, running her fingers over the guns.
"Could you at least try to be?" he snapped, instantly regretting it when she turned to him.
"Why should I be jealous of another woman when we both know your first love will always be your job?" she kept her voice level as she spoke. "If you hadn't have got burned, I'd never have approached Armand to get me here and we wouldn't be having this conversation…but just like always I thought with my heart instead of my brain and I ran right to your side, even though I knew you didn't want me here."
Michael opened his mouth to speak but thought better of it when she turned to him, her expressive eyes boring in to his. She watched him intently when he slowly approached her, joining her at her place beside the neatly lined up weapons.
"What happened, Fi?" he asked again, this time lowering his voice, speaking more tenderly. Lifting a hand he cradled her cheek against his palm, relieved when she leaned into him.
"He told me things I already knew," she all but whispered, swallowing heavily against the lump in her throat. "He wanted to know if I was happy living here in this loft with my absentee boyfriend…"
"Don't worry, I didn't answer him," she sighed heavily and took a step away and turned towards the kitchen, keeping her back to him "He asked me if I thought you were worth the favour I had to do for your information…he just…never mind."
"What?" he asked her quietly.
She shook her head and let out the breath she'd been holding. Her mind was spinning with doubts, bringing every single one of her uncertainties to the fore. She wasn't asking for wild declarations of love from him. She didn't want tokens or trinkets, or wild vacationing weekends; she just wanted him to want her.
He watched her in silence when she walked out onto the balcony and looked out into the night sky. Her slight form was swallowed up by darkness and he couldn't help but worry about this other man. Finding his feet he walked up behind her and slipped his arms around her, pulling her back into his chest.
"Do you know how it feels to be surrounded by people but still feel like you're on your own?" she asked him quietly, her voice almost lost in the breeze that encircled their bodies.
Michael closed his eyes and laid his cheek against her hair, pulling her tighter against him. "Is that how you feel?"
She was silent for a long time before she finally answered, turning in his arms so that she could look up into his eyes.
"Tell me that if you had to make a choice between your job and me, you'd at least give me a few seconds thought before you chose the job," she whispered. "Sometimes it's nice to hear you at least appreciate me."
Michael swallowed the lump in his throat and yanked her close to his body, wrapping her up as tightly as he could against his chest. He felt her melt into his body as her arms slipped around his waist, holding him tightly against her.
"I do appreciate you Fi," he told her, pressing kisses into her hair. "I know women want to hear words, but you and me…we—"
"I don't need words," she told him forcefully when she pulled back to look him squarely in the eyes. "I need you."
"You have me."
"Do I?" she asked quietly, dropping her eyes to his chest as she spoke.
The sadness in her voice almost broke him and he struggled to find the right words to say to convey to her just how much he loved her. But before he could even open his mouth, her voice spoke again.
"You're the most important man in my life," she told him as she pulled out of his arms to turn away from him again. "I want to be that too, for someone."
Michael's mind was in turmoil. How could she think that she wasn't important to him? "You are that to me, Fi…you must know that."
Her eyes brimmed with unshed tears but she blinked them away, unwilling to let him see just how upset she actually was. "I'm not," she told him honestly. "I wish I was…but I know the job will always come first and I've…accepted that."
Michael couldn't believe this was happening. How had things changed so much in such a short time? Taking a deep breath he reached out for her and reeled her back to him, wrapping her into his embrace, holding onto her rigid body until she relaxed against him.
"You are everything," he whispered into her hair. "You, Fiona…not the job, not the burn notice…just you."
Moving back slightly, Michael chanced a look down into her eyes and offered her a reassuring smile before dipping his head to capture her lips in a soft kiss that held a promise of so much more. When he pulled away he gazed down at her adoringly
"I really did miss you," he told her, finding more courage with every passing second.
Fiona closed her eyes briefly and leaned into his touch. She wanted to melt into his embrace, but so much had happened between them. Opening her eyes, she found her eyes locked in his gaze and the power to resist him slowly ebbed away. So many words needed to be spoken but she knew she only needed to speak honestly for him to understand his importance in her world. Taking a small breath, she lifted a hand to caress his face and watched with overwhelming affection as he closed his eyes. "I missed you too."
Slowly, his eyes opened and he found himself unable to pull away from her beautiful eyes. She held his gaze, enraptured, silently willing him to understand that every emotion he could possibly be feeling, she was feeling it too, because she loved him.
Time slowed as they unhurriedly moved closer, their lips seeking an end to all the pain and sorrow they had caused each other over the past few years. Michael watched her eyes flutter closed as he descended on her, so close that her breath blended with his. Every second brought them closer, until his lips grazed hers lightly to bring weeks worth's of longing to the fore, bursting through their barricades to leave them vulnerable to each other.
Pulling back, Michael opened his eyes to gage her reaction, desperately hoping that she could how much he adored her. He knew the second her eyes opened and linked with his that she felt it too, and he took the courage she gave him to lower his lips to hers once more.
She met him half way, her doubts melting along with any thoughts of resisting him the second his lips touched hers. He pressed closer to her body, the firmness of his lips becoming more demanding and she whimpered softly when she felt his tongue probing her bottom lip, begging for entry.
Fiona's hand slid up his chest to his neck as she opened her mouth to him, giving him everything she possessed. He moved closer, his kisses becoming almost desperate as he pulled her against his body. He needed to feel every inch of her, but when she reached up behind him to pull his head down forcefully, he knew he was lost in her forever.
She groaned softly when his fingers traced the small of her back and sank further into him. Standing on tiptoe, she edged closer, her desperate need to sheath his body with her own overpowering every other thought in her mind. She needed this and she needed him.
As the kiss deepened, the ringing of Michael's work phone brought an annoying disturbance in between them. At first, when the shrill of the phone invaded their senses, Fiona had only pulled him closer, urging with more ardent kisses as she silently begged him to ignore the unwelcome intrusion.
Pulling away slowly, Michael gazed down at her breathlessly. Her hair was tousled and her lips were swollen, and at this precise moment he realised he had never loved her more than he did right now. Leaning his forehead down to hers, he tried to catch his breath even when she started to pull away.
"Where are you going?" he asked her as he reached for her again, pulling her back towards him.
"Your phone," she whispered, already feeling her heart thumping wildly in her chest when he made no move to answer it.
"Let it ring," he told her, unwilling even now to relinquish his hold on her.
Pulling back slightly, she smiled up into his eyes and reached up to place a tender kiss on his cheek. "It could be important," she whispered, her lips placing feather light kisses over his skin as she spoke.
"Let it ring," he groaned defiantly, angling his neck so she could continue her heavenly torture down his throat. But the caller was refusing to go away, the insistent ringing becoming annoyingly persistent. Groaning in frustration, he pulled away from her, taking hold of her hand to pull her inside with him. Picking up the phone he looked down at the name on the screen and pressed the ignore button before throwing the phone onto the table.
Fiona came towards him and encircled her arms around his neck. She placed a soft kiss on the underside of his chin before trailing a path of butterfly kisses down his throat, to linger over his Adams apple. The sheer intimacy of this moment caused so many words to simmer inside her mind, but she couldn't think of a single thing to say right now. All she wanted to do was feel him, and hold onto the love he poured into her. She needed his reassurance that their relationship wouldn't dissolve into a far distant memory.
Michael could feel the intensity in every touch she empowered over his body and he felt himself starting to shake slightly. He met her with his own caresses as he slid his hands around her back to hold her closer to him. She could sense him, his desperate need for her aching into her own body and she felt herself surrender to his touch. Lifting her head, she caught his lips with her own, kissing him with something bordering near desperation. Pulling him closer, she groaned into his mouth as he slid his tongue into her depths, causing her whole body to ignite.
Sensing his body's growing need for her, Michael pushed them away from the door, using his leverage to walk them backwards into the general direction of their bed. Lips still joined, she willingly walked with him, content to be wrapped in his arms even when they hit the edge of the bed and toppled over onto the soft mattress…
Later Michael lifted one of his hands to her back, his fingers dancing circling patterns over her silken skin. He wanted to tell her everything that she stirred within him, but no words would ever compare to how she made him feel. Instead, he pulled her closer to him, encircling her sweat sprinkled body with his arms.
Fiona buried her face into his neck, her breath coming in raspy waves as she tried to calm her raging heartbeat. They had shared something powerful tonight, something that went far beyond making love.
And she knew right in that moment, that Armand had been wrong….