Disclaimer: I don't own burn notice though I wish I did. This is all just for fun.
A/N: This story begins during season Three, after Michael's leap from Management's helicopter but before our hero meets Tom Strickler.
I would also like to say a big thank you to the wonderful Jedi Skysinger for her Beta work on this and my other stories.
"Who do you think has been keeping your enemies at bay Michael? Without us, hell will rain down on you without an umbrella."
This is how Michael Westen found himself on the run
From the depths of oblivion he slowly became aware that something was wrong. The first of his senses to be roused from a deep slumber was smell. The smell of disinfectant mixed with vomit which made his stomach clench. He wanted to move away from the foul odour, but wanting didn't make it happen.
The cool refreshing sensation of a damp cloth on his face raised his level of consciousness a fraction. He realized his head was resting on a pillow, the mattress under his body was hard, and the sheets felt rough against his skin. He scraped his fingers along the surface. It was the most he could manage with limbs that felt heavy, and lifeless.
This wasn't his home, of that he was certain. He knew he should care, he should be fighting his way back to full consciousness. But his body refused to obey the command to move, the fog that infested his mind made it difficult to hold on to a coherent thought. After a moment he felt himself begin to slip away, back into the comforting darkness of sleep.
His eyelids flickered but seemed to have sealed shut. Something had disturbed his sleep, but he couldn't remember going to bed. Blinded, confused, and unable to move, with no idea of his situation he knew he should have been panicking. But instead his mind and body were cocooned in a cosy feeling of numbness.
A distant buzzing noise irritated his ears, slowly he started to pick out words amongst the buzzing. They were whispering about him, he didn't know who they were, but as he listened more intently to the words he realized the lies they were spreading.
"This is Michael Westen he used to be a spy. Until two years ago, when he suffered a psychotic break during which he killed five men. Luckily he had been talking to his handler just prior to the break, and the man had realized something was wrong. He alerted an extraction team and they brought Michael back to Miami. And he has been here ever since."
That was a lie. He had been burned, he had been on the phone when they informed him a burn notice had been issued. He had fought his way out of that hotel, he had used a mixture of fast talk, violence and fast feet. He tried desperately to move his head, to speak out about the lies being spoken. But he couldn't move, his limbs refused to obey his commands, his mouth remained slack and mute.
"And he's been left like this for two years?" This was a feminine voice.
"No. When he arrived he was suffering from paranoid delusions of persecution, which we treated with a mixture of medication and cognitive therapy. He was responding, in fact there had been short periods of lucidity. Unfortunately last week he suffered another psychotic break. We realized afterwards he had been hiding his medication."
"What is the treatment now Doctor?"
"We start again. This is a difficult case, there is a growing opinion amongst administration that he would be better placed in a unit more suited to containing him, rather than treating him. Before we could sedate him he nearly killed an orderly who was trying to restrain him."
The voices faded away and he continued to lay unmoving, even when a damp cloth was wiped over his face, and he felt his body being moved into another position. He was dimly aware that he was in a lot of trouble, but the call of oblivion was too strong.
"Michael, Michael... If you can get him to focus on you, he is capable of following simple instructions." Strong fingers gripped his chin forcing him to look at the man looming over him. "Michael. How are you feeling today? Are you thirsty?"
He slowly ran his tongue over dry cracked lips, in his mind he was screaming out. But the only sound that came out of his mouth was a soft whine.
"Fiona. Would you help Michael with a drink. Use one of the cartons of juice and a straw."
Fiona. The name meant something to him, his chin was released and his head lolled to the side. Then another hand smaller and softer turned his head and he stared into concerned blue eyes. A straw slipped between his lips and he sucked the liquid down, unaware that some leaked out of the side of his mouth.
Fiona. The name was familiar but the face was all wrong, blond hair not auburn, tied back in a severe bun framing round chubby features, definitely not the delicate face of his Fiona. The straw was removed and his chin and neck were patted dry. He felt her fingers comb through his hair, and then rub against his cheek.
"Doctor, shall I give Michael a shave? Tidy him up a bit. I believe his mother is visiting this afternoon." Michael's eyes slid shut, the effort to stay awake beyond his powers. If his mom was coming to visit she would set things straight. Whatever had happened, if his mother was coming so would Fiona and Sam. He was asleep before the other Fiona began to give him a wash and shave.
The voice sounded wrong, too high pitched.
"Michael, I've come along way. Can you at least look at me... Doctor Samuels why his he like this?" Whoever this woman was she had the demanding whine right, but nothing else.
"Sorry Mrs Westen, we are reducing the levels of sedation. But your son's behaviour can be very erratic and we need to be cautious."
That had to be it. He was being drugged. But why did his mother's voice sound so odd?
It was an effort but Michael forced his eyes open, and tried to concentrate on the figure sat beside him. This woman wore a shoulder length blond wig, big earrings, red lipstick and when she bent to kiss his forehead he got a strong whiff of cigarette smoke. He groaned, and squeezed the fingers resting on his hand. The woman looked at him with hard cold blue eyes. Michael tried to draw his hand away, this woman was not Madeline Westen he was sure of it.
"Hello sweetheart." Her hand stroked his cheek, making his skin crawl. "I see Fiona has given you a shave."
"No..Not." The words slurred out of his slack mouth.
"Yes she did dear." The woman stroked his cheek again as if trying to prove to him he was clean shaven. "And she made a good job of it too." The rest of her words washed over him.
"Michael, you're not listening to me. I'm just going to have a few words with Doctor Samuels, you remember Doctor Sam don't you, I'm not happy with you being left this way."
Doctor Sam, Nurse Fiona, and a woman who claimed to be his mom. This was all wrong. He had to get away.
A wave of panic broke through the drug induced haze. Suddenly his heart was pounding threatening to burst out of his chest, pain radiating throughout his body. His body began to shake, his back arching off the bed as his limbs flailed uncontrollably.
He was unaware of being held down, restraints being applied keeping him immobile. Or the needle entering his arm. Only when he was still did the people present breath a collective sigh of relief.
He had been on his way out of the door. "Hey don't forget my beer Mikey!" Sam had called out. He remembered the heat and humidity washing over him. "And sushi Michael. Some yellowtail if they've got it." Fiona's voice had floated out as the loft door had closed behind him. He had gone down the steps. Got in to the charger. He had driven out through the gates, he had….
Michael's eyes opened, he was in the same room as before. He guessed it had to be night time the room was illuminated by a dull overhead light. He flinched when he heard the scrape of a chair and soft footsteps coming to his side.
"You gave us all a scare." A woman in a nurses uniform picked up his arm her fingers pressed against the inside of his wrist. "Your mom was very upset. She didn't leave until you were out of danger." She placed his arm back over his stomach. "She's a lovely woman."
"Please." His voice came out as a whisper. "Where am I? What happened?"
She smiled down at him, giving his arm a gentle pat. "Oh Michael, we go through this every time. All you need to know is you're home, and safe."
Before he could ask another question she was gone leaving him to stare up at the ceiling as he fell back into a daze.
"Michael, I want you to try to concentrate."
This was a different voice. Kind, but firm. Michael blinked and when he opened his eyes and got his bearings he realized he had been propped up. His head felt clearer, and his limbs not quite so heavy. "Look at me." He heard the click of fingers being snapped and followed the direction of the noise. He found himself focussing on a man sitting beside him, staring back at him over a clipboard.
"Let's start with something simple. My name is Doctor Vincent." The new doctor introduced himself.
"Victor?" Michael squinted trying to focus fully on the Doctor. Victor was dead.
"No, Vincent. Now can you tell me your name?"
"And do you know where you are?"
Michael looked around. "A hospital?"
The Doctor scribbled on his clipboard, before looking up. "Do you know why you're here?"
Doctor Vincent sighed and lowered the clipboard before speaking. "I want to help you Michael, but for me to do that I need you to be honest with me. I want you to tell me what do you remember about Nigeria?"
"It's a West African country." Michael answered with a faint smile.
"And you were there in two thousand and six. Can you tell me what happened?" He asked gently.
"Here." Vincent pushed a card into his hand. "Take a look. It's my clearance."
Michael glanced at his lap, doing his best to focus on the piece of plastic. But it was no good, he remembered when he had high ranking clearance.
"Michael! Please, look at me." It wasn't until the doctor spoke that he realized he had begun to drift off again. "Michael, this is very important. If we're going to make you better, help you to function I need to know what you think happened in Nigeria."
"Nothing." Michael droned.
"You were in a meeting, you were authorized to pay three quarters of a million dollars to a Russian businessman."
"I was burned." He admitted. "I was transfer..."
"No." The Doctor spoke firmly. "Something happened and instead of transferring the money you drew your gun and killed the men in that room."
Michael shook his head. "No."
"Yes." The doctor pressed. "I can show you the reports."
"No. You're wrong." Michael flung himself forward clumsily lashing out.
Orderlies appeared out of nowhere and he was pushed flat on the bed, his limbs forced into restraints. Doctor Samuels loomed over him with a syringe at the ready when Doctor Vincent stopped him. "No. He needs to work through his delusions. Let's leave him to calm down."
Time meant nothing, he slept and whenever he woke Doctor Vincent was waiting. He was a patient man, and very understanding, he wore Michael down with his reasonableness. "Let's break this down one part at a time. Let's forget about Nigeria for now. Tell me about your friends.
Doctor Vincent had agreed, Sam Axe was a real person, a Navy SEAL and yes he did indeed live in Miami. Yes Michael had worked with him, several times in fact. But the Doctor refuted that they had ever been friends. After all it was on record that Axe had been one of the main detractors in his last mission with Larry Sizemore. Besides why would a spy befriend a drunken womanizer? Did it seem likely?
And then there was Miss Fiona Glenanne. Why would an Irish terrorist help him. Hadn't he betrayed her during his work? When he couldn't explain their relationship the Doctor had played his ace. He had produced a file, Fiona's Interpol file. She wasn't in Miami, she had never even visited Miami. Besides, for the last seven years she had been locked away in Rampton high security hospital in Great Britain.
Surely he had to accept that Sam Axe would never be his best friend, and Fiona Glenanne was in prison. That it was also unlikely that he had been burned and abandoned by his country. After all what had he done to deserve such a punishment?
Doctor Vincent had then asked in a quiet tone if maybe Michael would consider things from a different perspective. Maybe he was confused, didn't he call Doctor Samuels, Sam? And then there was Fiona Glenanne. Would he really have a relationship with a mad Irish bomber? Surely when he talked of a Fiona who looked after him, cared for him was it possible he was confusing the once pretty terrorist with the caring nurse who watched over him every day.
Michael lay limply in the bed, all the fight gone from his body. His mind filled with doubt. If he could just talk to one person he recognized, and trusted. He would know what to do.
"Michael. How would you like to go outside today?"
Michael nodded, he was Doctor Vincent's star patient. Quiet, polite and for the most part lucid. He had built up his strength and was free to wander about his room. There had been talk of letting him rejoin the general population if he continued to improve.
"Out?" His voice sounded hollow, dull and lifeless.
"Yes, a walk in the garden. Would you like that?"
He nodded, and let Nurse Fiona help him into some training shoes fastened with velcro. Then after an orderly had handcuffed his wrists in front of him Michael followed Doctor Vincent along a corridor and out in to a walled garden. Squinting in the bright sunlight, he sat down on a stone bench facing a man-made pond filled with brightly colored fish. The smell from a nearby honeysuckle plant reminding him of home.
"I want to talk about the mission before Nigeria." Doctor Vincent spoke softly. "You were in Algeria, to meet a double agent working in the Russian embassy. Do you remember his name?
As with any talk about work Michael became suspicious. "Why?"
Vincent, paused for a moment. "Michael, we or rather I think your condition may have been caused by a chemical or poison. It is something the Russians have been known to use."
"Do you think you can..." He stopped, his eyes narrowing. He could have sworn he had glimpsed a brightly colored shirt and the face of a man he had thought was a friend.
Vincent instantly picked up on his patient's change of demeanour. "I think we've been outside long enough." Michael obediently got to his feet when he felt a pull on his arm. "Let's get you back inside and you can tell me what you can remember about the Russian agent."
"Dan knows." He mumbled, his eyes drawn back to the high perimeter wall and the dense shrubs. "He was Dan's, Dan made the introductions."
"That's good Michael, but if we had the name we might be able to help you." As soon as they reached Michael's room, Vincent pushed him inside and locked the door. Not even bothering to remove the handcuffs.
"Well he's in there." Sam slumped down in the passenger seat of Fiona's Saab convertible.
"I've got C4 and assault rifles." She was reaching for the door handle when he stopped her.
"We have no idea how many are in there, and from I just saw he is in no state to help us."
She sunk back in her seat closing her eyes as she fought to keep control. "Do we at least know who they are? Or what they want with him?"
"No, but now we know where he is, I can find out whose renting the building and we should be able to get hold of the floor plan."
She twisted round so she could look Sam straight in the eyes. "He's been gone for a month Sam. I want him back now."
"So do I Fi, so do I but rushing in there guns blazing will probably just get him and us killed."
Sam Axe, he had seen Sam Axe. But what did it mean?
Michael lay on his bed, still in handcuffs staring up at the ceiling. The Doctors had begun to trust him, he was no longer under close supervision or kept sedated. As long as he took his medication and remained calm he might be able to escape.
He needed to find Axe and speak to him. If Sam Axe was his friend he would help. If not at least he would know the truth.