Disclaimer: Burn Notice and its characters still don't belong to me unfortunately.
Spoilers for 5x09
A/N: I'm a little late, but I was re watching this episode again this morning and this just came to me. I was struck by the angst bug again, so I hope you all enjoy it.
Many thanks to Purdy's Pal for having a read through for me
When she had walked away from Michael after he'd told her she knew who he was, she couldn't bring herself to look back. Her heart ached with heaviness with every step that took her away from him. But she couldn't deny the fact that he was right, she did know him.
She knew that his job would always be his number one priority. Something that had been made abundantly clear to her from the moment she found out the truth about him all those years ago. She knew that finding Max's killer was dominating all of their lives right now, and maybe she was being too demanding…but hadn't she at least earned some respect from him, dammit?
Walking over towards her car she yanked the door open and threw herself inside. She chewed on her bottom lip and closed her eyes, worry creeping into her thoughts. What if moving in with him had been a massive mistake? Maybe she shouldn't have agreed to do it, maybe she shouldn't have let her emotions run the show…maybe, maybe maybe…
They used to talk more when they were living in separate places. She saw more of him when they weren't together. If she was going to salvage anything from this then there had to be some changes made in both of them, and those changes had to start right away.
Taking a breath she opened her eyes and focused on the task in hand, knowing that there were still some sacrifices she had to make. She had already given up everything for him. Her family were closed off to her, she could never go home, she'd never be a mother…what else could she possibly give up to show him that she was willing to do anything for him? Would he even acknowledge her sacrifices? Sometimes she wondered if he'd only asked her to move in with him because he was so close to getting his job back. Maybe he was letting his emotions rule him that day and she just got swept along with his good mood.
She had nothing left to give him…she'd tried the best she could, but she was slowly starting to realise that maybe her best just wasn't good enough. She didn't know where she stood in his life anymore, but she was willing to try one last time and sacrifice the only thing she had left. If he didn't appreciate it then she knew she had her answer, and what they had was something he was willing to throw away. With a determined swipe of her eyes she started the car and headed out towards home.
The loft was in darkness when she arrived and for a moment she cursed herself for feeling so sentimental. This place was run down and in serious need of a makeover, but this was home, her safety net even before she lived here.
She ran her fingers along the rusty railing as she made her way up the metal stairs, taking her time to digest her thoughts before she opened the door to walk inside and flipped on the light.
As she looked around the open space she tried to remember what it had been like in here before she had made her changes. Michael's face had been one of dismay, but he'd hidden behind his false smiles and encouragement to make any change she wanted. She couldn't help the smile that lifted her lips when he'd acknowledged each change with a heavy sigh and a reluctant acceptance. Maybe the problem wasn't the changes in here, maybe the problem was her.
Tears stung her eyes when she threw her bag onto the bed and made her way to the back of the loft, hoping Michael hadn't thrown any of the old package boxes in the trash yet. Her eyes watered even though she tried to stop them, so she just swiped an angry hand over the wetness and told herself to stop being so foolish.
When she started rummaging around she found a stack of flattened boxes still in the corner. A triumphant smile formed on her lips when she pulled them out to examine them, only to have the same smile fall away again when she knew there was one final sacrifice that she needed to make…
A few hours later when Michael returned to the loft, he was exhausted. All he wanted to do was crawl in beside the woman who was sleeping soundly in the bed. His breath caught in his throat when he moved towards her, wanting nothing more than to take comfort in her warmth, but something stopped him in his tracks.
Looking around the loft he noticed that a lot of her things were missing. The flowers she'd placed around the bed were gone, as were the books and the artwork. The bedding was back to the worn blue comforter that he'd used for so many years and he'd hoped to never see again.
He swallowed heavily when he turned towards the shelves he'd made her, relieved to see that her snow globes were still arranged as they were earlier that morning. But everything else, all the changes she'd made in here over the last few months, they were all gone.
His mouth was dry as he turned back towards the bed, torn between shaking her awake to ask her what the hell was gong on, but at the same time he was afraid of what her answer may be.
He could feel his heart thudding in his chest when he took a step away and looked over towards the back of the loft where their makeshift closet was. His legs felt like lead as he walked slowly towards it, his breath sticking in his chest only to be released when he saw that all of her clothes and shoes were still there.
Turning back around, he stopped suddenly when he caught sight of the pile of boxes that were stacked neatly in the corner, each one having her unique scrawl in black marker pen…Fiona's books…Fiona's ornament…Fiona's photos…
She'd packed her photos? Whipping back around he headed towards the shelves and ran his fingers worriedly through his hair when he saw that everything that was hers was gone, everything except the snow globes…
"Fi," he whispered at last, heading towards the bed to sit down onto the mattress beside her. Reaching down he shook her shoulder and whispered her name again, unable to keep the worry from his voice when he noticed the dry tear tracks on her face.
Her eyelids slowly opened and she looked up at him, her eyes adjusting in the darkness.
"Michael?" she asked, lifting herself up onto her elbow when she saw the pure fear in his gaze. "Oh God, what happened?"
"What did you do?" he asked hoarsely, lifting his hands to gesture their surroundings. "Where's all of your things?"
She sighed heavily and lay back down, watching him as she tried to control her breathing. "I've decided to put them into storage…"
"Why?" he asked quickly as he looked around at the bare walls. "There's room here."
"Is there," she asked him carefully. "I…look come to bed, we'll talk about this in the morning…"
"Are you leaving?" he asked her suddenly. "Is this your way of—"
"Do you want me to?" she asked him then as she sat back up and scooted her body back towards the pillows. When he didn't answer she avoided his gaze and looked around at the bleak looking walls feeling so hopelessly sad. "I've put as much of this back to the way it was before I moved in…I don't know what else you want from me, Michael…I don't have anything left to give you…"
Michael didn't know what was going on and looked at her in total confusion. Reaching forward he closed his hand around hers and urged her to meet his gaze. When she shook her head he scooted forward to place a finger under her chin to bring her eyes to his.
"Fi," he asked worriedly when he saw her eyes pooling with tears. "Talk to me…please…"
"Michael…" she closed her eyes when he reached out to wipe a tear away from her cheek.
"Is this about dinner?" he asked worriedly. "I already told you I was sorry—"
"It's not about dinner Michael," she moaned with dismay, pulling herself away from his touch to climb off of the bed. "If that's all you think is wrong then maybe I should leave…maybe that's what you want me to do…" She threw her arms in the air and turned away from him, more angry at herself than him. Taking a breath she swallowed the lump in her throat before she turned around to face him, ready to take whatever he decided. "I need you to decide if you want me here…because if you don't, you need to tell me—"
"Fi," he was on his feet in seconds, striding towards her until his hands were firmly on her shoulders, holding her at arms length. "How can you even ask me? I built you shelves…How much more do you need me to say? I want you here with me."
"Do you?" she asked him, her voice dropping to a whisper as she spoke. "I'm giving you the choice to back out of our…whatever this is we're doing," she told him sadly as she took a step away from him to wave a hand between them. "If you want me to leave then say so, just don't keep pushing me away because I am so tired of it Michael…"
Reaching out a hand, he wrapped his fingers around her arm and tugged her towards him. He could feel his own pulse hammering in his chest as he sought out her eyes with his own. She was trembling and defiant, staring at him with undeniable strength even though tears trickled down her face. He could see how serious she was and how she stood by every word she'd said and in that moment he couldn't ever remember loving her more than he did right now.
"I don't want you to leave," he told her quietly, hoping she could see the honesty in his gaze. "I'm no good at this relationship stuff Fi, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing…and that's why you have to show me…"
Reaching out to her, he pulled her against him and wrapped his arms tightly around her body. Her breath came out as a sob when she surrendered to his touch and wrapped her arms around him, seeking his closeness to put an end to all of this pain. She felt his hands slide up her back to keep her close to his body and she suddenly felt something break inside her. She wasn't a crier, Glenanne's were strong, but she couldn't help it. So much had happened over the last five years to culminate into this one moment.
"I can't lose you," he whispered into her hair. "I don't know what I would do if I lost you…"
Leaning back so she could look up into his eyes, she offered him a watery smile as she leaned up to lay the palm of her hand across his cheek.
"You'll never lose me," she told him softly as she reached up to kiss a promise onto his lips. "Never…"
"I hate the thought that I hurt you, Fi I hate the thought that you were crying because of me."
Michael shook his head, "I heard you Fi, when you thought I was asleep. No one has ever gone through so much for me."
"What did you expect?" She asked him tearfully. "You're not just my boyfriend ... you're also my friend...I thought I was losing you…"
Michael closed his eyes, his face contorted by his emotions. "And I wish there was something I could do, or say to win back your trust in me—"
"You have my trust, Michael. You've always had my trust."
"Even after everything I put you through?" He asked her hopefully.
"I know you have to run off on a minutes notice," she sighed. "I know you would never hurt me on purpose."
"But I should have explained myself."
"I know you would never tell me any government secret's Michael...it's okay…"
"No you're not listening," he told her, urging her to look at him. "Since we met I have changed, because of you," he told her. "When I was in Afghanistan, I lost all faith and trust in everyone. I thought I could only rely on myself. You helped me regain that trust… I trust you with my life."
He kissed her forehead again, sighing happily as she shifted closer to him, looping her hand around the waistband of his pants.
"Are we okay?" he whispered, placing kisses into her hair.
"We will be," she sighed as she snuggled in closer to his body, letting his warmth surround her. They could survive anything, as long as they were together…