Disclaimer: Unfortunately Burn Notice still doesn't belong to me.
Spoilers for 5x16. Set directly after Michael leaves his mother's and before the meeting with Sam. The look on Michael's face was so heart breaking I just needed to fix it with a private moment between Michael and Fiona
Huge thanks as always to Purdy's Pal for reading through this for me
More Than Words
Silence filled the loft when Michael returned after his disastrous visit to his mother's house. He had known she was going to be angry but what he hadn't expected however was the vicious slap she had delivered across his face. The hatred in her eyes had stung far worse that her hand and for that one moment he had found himself transported back to his childhood.
Back then he had received the blows from his drunken father while he tried to protect his mother and brother. He thought he had left all of his fears behind after he'd left home, but his mother had just proved to him that the scared, angry boy that had left Miami all of those years ago was still living within him.
Pushing the balcony doors open he moved outside to lean against the railings as the warm breeze swirled around him. His thoughts were in turmoil and for the first time in his life he didn't know what to do. Every move he made brought him to an abrupt dead end and it was as if the whole universe was conspiring against him. He was sinking fast and losing parts of himself along the way. His heart ached in a way that he had never felt before and he was fighting a losing battle to keep his emotions intact.
He knew losing Fiona would break him, and Anson knew that too. Anson had waited for his optimum moment, watching from the shadows as he witnessed him falling deeper and deeper into a solid relationship. Fiona had always been Michael's one weakness. She was the only women he had ever truly loved. The only woman he would ever love. He couldn't lose her…he just couldn't…
Behind him the loft door opened as Fiona breezed in carrying a bag of groceries in with her. She swept into the loft like a ray of warm sunshine, her voice echoing around the room as she called his name.
When he didn't turn around she walked towards the kitchen to place the bag onto the counter before stepping out onto the balcony to embrace him from behind. She sighed as she laid her cheek against his shirt clad back before turning her head to place a kiss in between his shoulder blades.
"How did it go with your mom?" she asked him softly as she spread her fingers to slide her hands over his chest. She could feel him tense when she mentioned his mother's name causing her to pull him in tighter towards her body. When he didn't answer she closed her eyes briefly against the well of emotion gathering in her eyes, before she loosened her arms to move around to face him.
Her gaze drifted over his body and she knew instantly that something was wrong. They had a way of knowing when the other was upset, even though neither of them would ever own up to that fact. Her eyes travelled over his features before coming to rest on his face and the angry red welt that was blossoming over his skin.
"Michael?" she asked worriedly as she lifted the palm of her hand to lay it over his cheek. "What happened?"
"It doesn't matter," he told her in a soft, broken whisper as he turned his eyes to hers. "I…"
"It matters to me," she whispered her words, needing him to know that whatever was hurting him was hurting her too. She couldn't keep the slight waver from her voice when she felt the sting of tears forming in her eyes, and in that one moment the only thing she wanted was to hold onto him and never let him go.
The concern in her eyes almost took his breath away and he slowly pulled her hand from his face to place a kiss into her palm. He knew she was the only woman who had ever known him, and that even bending the truth a little was pointless. He couldn't bring himself to tell her that he was feeling helpless or that he couldn't see any way out of this mess they were in.
"It's nothing," he told her softly as he wrapped his arms around her. "I'm fine."
Fiona sighed into his chest as her arms moved around him to hold him tightly against her. She hated to see him looking so defeated. Moving her head she buried her face in between his neck and shoulder to place a lingering kiss over his skin. The burst of love she felt for him sent a shuddering sob throughout her body but instead of pulling away to ask her what was wrong, he just enclosed her in his arms and dropped his face to her shoulder.
Her strength encompassed him, giving him the courage to let go of the welling emotion that he'd been so desperately keeping at bay. His eyes watered and he gulped in a breath when the first tear slipped from his eyes to seep into her top.
"It's okay," she whispered, pulling him closer so that he could bury his face into her shoulder. Her own voice trembled as she held him, unprepared to loosen her hold on him. "It's okay to let go…"
Her words caused the emotion he'd been fighting to suddenly burst free. He felt weak and more vulnerable than he'd ever felt before in his life, but when she slipped a hand into his hair he suddenly felt his walls breaking down. His whole body shook against her as she pulled him closer, holding him in her protective embrace.
He couldn't do anything but cling to her as he silently cried and she answered by drawing him in tighter to her body. He felt her fingers threading through his hair, and then her soft lips when they kissed his temple. He didn't want to ever leave the security of her arms but when he finally felt strong enough to lift his head, he found nothing but loving acceptance in her eyes.
Fiona swallowed hard as she lifted one of her hands to his cheek to swipe the wetness away with her thumb. She loved this man with every fibre of her being and the days of hiding their feelings from each other had long since passed.
Lifting up on her tiptoes she pressed a soft kiss to his damp cheek before pulling back to gaze up at him with pure devotion. She was determined to find out what had happened to break him like this and when she did, whoever had hurt him had better run and hide.
"Are you okay?" she asked him gently when he slowly disentangled his arms from around her body.
Before she could move he gripped her hands with his and swallowed the lump in his throat as he whispered her name. No words could ever describe just how much he loved her. She was the other half of him, the part that made him a whole person. Before he had met her he was an empty shell of a man who didn't love or value anything. She had become his conscience, his heart, his soul and everything in between. He couldn't ever imagine his life without her anymore.
"We'll get through this," she promised him as she ran her thumb across his lips. "You and me together."
"Yeah," he whispered through a hoarse voice. Moving his hands to her shoulders, he skimmed over her skin with his fingertips, loving her with his touch. "Thank you, Fi."
Moving closer she smiled up at him with watery eyes and brought his forehead down to rest against hers. So many words cascaded around her mind but she couldn't think of a single thing to say to him that would even come close to how she felt about him. They had always been a couple who loved each other with gestures rather than words, and when he slowly shifted to press his lips against hers all of the words just melted away.
When they pulled apart they stayed together, drawing strength from each other's touch until Michael's voice broke the silence.
"She threw me out of the house…" his voice was so soft that Fiona almost didn't hear him. His words caused her heart to jolt inside her chest and slowly everything started to make sense.
Lifting her hand back to his face she stroked her fingers over the reddening skin. "She did this to you?"
When his eyes closed as he nodded, Fiona could already feel the burning anger rising inside her chest. Stepping back into his arms she held on to him and laid her head beneath his chin. She was very fond of Madeline. The older woman had become like a surrogate mother to her ever since she came to Miami, but she loved Michael. This wasn't just a normal fight, she had witnessed enough of them since she and Michael had been together. Whatever had happened had finally pushed him over the edge and with everything else going on around them, the added stress of his mother wasn't helping.
"We have to meet Sam in an hour," she sighed into his chest and felt his arms tighten around her. "Do you want me to go on my own?"
"No," his voice croaked and he took a shuddering breath as he slowly pulled back from her to place a soft kiss onto her forehead, his lips lingering over her skin. "I just need to change."
"Okay," she offered him a reassuring smile and held on to his hand as he began to walk away. He turned to look at her questioningly when she didn't release him right away.
Their fingers held together for a few more seconds before he returned her smile. Letting his hand fall away from hers he moved away from her and towards the tiny bathroom at the back of the loft, leaving her looking after his departing form with a worried gaze.
Her first instinct was to march right over to Madeline's and demand an explanation, but with the way she was feeling right at this moment, a car with a trunk load of guns wasn't a good idea when she confronted her.
Her thoughts were interrupted a few minutes later when he returned wearing a new shirt and looking every part the man she had fallen in love with.
"You ready to go?" she asked him with a bright smile as she pushed his hands away so she could fasten the buttons on his shirt. "You know, when this is all over I think we should take a real vacation, somewhere far away from Miami."
Michael lifted his hands to hers, stilling her fingers to bring them up to his lips. His eyes met hers as he placed a kiss over her knuckles and returned her smile.
"Anywhere you want to go Fi," he nodded seriously, knowing he would give her the whole world if she asked for it.
"Anywhere huh?" she chuckled softly. "Well…how can I argue with that?"
Michael's eyes lit up when she flashed him a wide grin as she pulled the loft door open and stepped over onto the steps. The pain of his mother's rejection was still very raw, but he knew with Fiona Glenanne by his side they would win this war…