The Burned Man
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any rights to BBC's version of the Sherlock Holmes canon, nor any rights to Burn Notice. I am merely a loyal fan of both and do not wish to profit from this. Please do not sue my ass.
Chapter One: The Case
My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy.
But you already know all about that, don't you? Of course you do. So let's cut to the chase, shall we?
It was a fairly typical day in Miami when this whole incident started. I'd been working a case with Fi, trying to catch another bounty. It was nasty work, I had to admit, but I had nothing else to do. The worst thing about being burned was the waiting.
Whether you're riding camel-back through the deserts of North Africa or hacking your way through the Brazilian rainforest with a pocket knife, your biggest enemy in the field is thirst. If you don't hydrate, you lose focus, coordination, and eventually you will die from either dehydration or making a fatal error.
With this in mind, we'd stopped off at a convenience store in what Fiona affectionately termed "not a nice neighborhood" to pick up some water and yogurt for the cooler. She stayed in the car, muttering something about how I needed to be "more understanding." Whatever that meant.
By the time I got back to the car, she looked panicked.
"What is it, Fi?" I asked, looking around. She didn't need to answer. I could clearly see the black sedan on the other side of the street and the angry-looking men inside it. When would bad guys learn to be more subtle.
"You want to fight them or make a break for it?" I asked. She rolled her eyes.
"And why should I have to choose?"
As we peeled out of our parking space, she leaned out of the passenger window with her .45.
"I wish you'd let me bring something heavier, Michael."
"Not now, Fi." I sighed. If they weren't after us before, they sure as hell were now. And I really couldn't afford any new enemies.
As we pulled into the loft, I looked over at Fi, who was pouting slightly.
"Think we lost them?" she muttered.
"I don't know. You did shoot out their windshield and two of their tires."
"Maybe we could make sure."
I was about to snap back when there was a tap on the window. I got out of the car.
Sam looked at us with concern evident in his eyes.
"Where have you been, Mikey? I've been calling you for an hour."
"Glad you were worried, Sam," I snapped back. "Your FBI buddies breathing down your neck again?"
I regretted it the second I saw the look of hurt permeate his face.
"Come on, Mike. You know I don't have a choice."
I sighed. The bastards had threatened his pension. He was right.
"Sorry, Sam. It's just been a long day."
"It's about to get longer." He held up a file. "I've got a case."
I glanced at the folder. "Sam. . . That seal is the seal of the British police force. How did this end up in your hands?"
Fiona fumed. "English bastards. We should shoot the lot."
I held up a hand. Now was hardly the time for politics. I wanted answers.
Sam ignored her. "Old buddy from my Navy days. We worked joint operations during the Cold War. He's police now, and it seems one of his suspects is here in Miami. Bad sort of character too, Mike. He's killed quite a few people."
I took the file from him, flipping through it. David Hudson. A tall, dark-eyed man, ex-military himself. No rap sheet, just a wife and two kids. But that was just the declassified stuff. The man had spy written all over him.
"Let me guess," I muttered. "You've already signed us up for this."
Sam grinned. "Yup."
I glared at him, and he retaliated with his signature puppy dog eyes.
"Look, Mikey. I know you've got a lot on your plate right now, but Greg is a very old friend. He saved my life. I owe him at least one favor. I'll go it alone if you want, but. . ."
I sighed. "Fine, we'll do it."
"What?" Fiona glared at us both. "Help the English? No, boys, you're on your own this time."
I smiled gently at her. "I understand."
She nodded subtly back before spinning on her heels and strutting out of the gate.
I sighed. This was going to be interesting.
"Greg!" Sam's voice was jovial as he greeted the man on the other end of the line. "I'd like you to meet Michael Westen."
"Hello, Michael," responded a soft voice from the other end. "My name is Greg Lestrade. Sam's told me a lot about you."
I looked critically at the phone as it lay on the table.
A trained operative can tell a lot about someone from their voice. In a job where you frequently rely on people you've never met, this skill can save your life.
I relaxed. This man wasn't a threat. His accent was London, middle-class, if I had to guess.
"I hope he hasn't told you too much," I replied, glaring at Sam across the table. He took a swig of beer, shrugging as if there was nothing to worry about.
"If there's one thing I know about Sam, it's that he's discrete," replied Lestrade. "Except when it comes to the ladies, right, Sam?"
I snorted. Definitely old friends.
"For the last time, I didn't know she was your brother's wife," muttered Sam. "Now what can you tell us about this Hudson character?"
The man on the other end of the line sighed. "Not much more than I already have. The man's clever. We've been trying to pin something on him for years. We know he's an assassin, but we haven't a shred of evidence. I was just about to call in some reinforcements of my own when he slipped through our fingers and headed your way."
I sighed. "So you want us to prove he's dirty?"
I looked at Sam. "Sounds easy enough. How do I find him?"
"That's your area." The man paused, as if reading something. "I'm afraid I have to run. But never fear. I've sent you some help."
"Help? What sort of help?"
But the line had gone dead. I turned to Sam, trying not to panic.
He shrugged. "Apparently Greg wanted his own team on this as well. Don't worry. I'm sure we can handle them."
I was awakened by a knock on the door. I moaned, looking at the clock by my bed. 3 AM. Who the hell. . .
I pulled the door open quickly, my gun at the ready.
Standing on the stoop was a tall, dark-haired man, rather on the young side. He glanced about the room quickly, then sighed.
"Relax, Mr. Westen," he crooned in a rich, low voice. "I'm unarmed."
British. I frowned.
"Who are you, and what the hell are you doing here at this hour?"
He smiled. "My name is Sherlock Holmes. I'm here to solve this case. May I come in?"