Title: Four things that make Victor cry (and one that doesn't)
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Category: Burn Notice, 5 Things, Gen, Hurt/ Comfort
Pairing: none
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,000 and change
Status: complete
Characters: Victor, Michael, Sam, Fiona, Madeline
Season/Spoilers: AU early Season 3; Spoilers for end of Season 2
Summary: Victor is a tough guy. But he has his soft spots, too.
Disclaimer: I don't own Burn Notice. I wouldn't know what to do with it. ;-)
Author's Notes: This fic is clearly an AU, one where Victor survives (I imagine Sam and Fiona rescue him and get him to a hospital while Michael is in the helicopter with Management). Thanks so much for reading! ;-)


Four things that make Victor cry (and one that doesn't)


"Victor, are you all right?"

Fiona's hushed voice wakes Michael instantly. He sits up, sees her bent over the prone man between them. Victor's hands cover his face, his breathing is labored and shallow. Fiona shoots him a look in the dim light of the loft, just as Sam's voice comes from the sofa, gruff from interrupted sleep.

"What's going on?"

Michael touches Victor's shoulder. "Hey," he says softly. "Pain again?"

Victor nods and slides his hands off his face. His cheeks are wet, his features pinched.

Sam comes ambling over. "Where does it hurt?"

Victor swallows hard, closing his eyes. "Right foot," he manages to grunt.

They look at each other. Phantom pains. The surgeon told them that the tremendous blood loss from being shot twice resulted in some brain damage, mostly fine motor skills and unpredictable debilitating pain in the extremities. It should go away over time, they were told, but in the meantime this happens a lot, usually when Victor relaxes.

Fiona gets up to fetch a cold wet cloth, Michael reaches for the bedside lamp and Sam sits down by his feet, carefully picking up the right one and massaging it.

"Can you feel this?"

Victor shakes his head. Fiona hands Michael the cloth and he carefully lays it over Victor's eyes.

They sit and wait. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes hours. Sometimes Sam hooks him up to an IV to give him relief. Sometimes it helps to distract Victor and, like the hiccups, the pain goes away unnoticed. But sometimes all they can do is to let him know they are there and the pain is real, even if the cause is not.


"Victor, are you all right?"

Madeline stares at the man crying in her kitchen.

Victor nods. "I'm fine," he blurts out, sniffling, trying to wipe his eyes.

Madeline yelps "Don't!" and nearly drops her cigarette. "You'll only make it worse!"

"I know," Victor sighs. "But you can't have homemade salsa without fresh onions."

Madeline shakes her head in exasperation. Leave it to her son to drop off a shooting victim in a wheelchair at her house who gets the strangest food cravings! On the other hand, Victor is a decent cook and she's glad he's doing something besides staring into space.

She pulls off a paper towel sheet and gently dabs his eyes and cheeks. He smiles at her and her heart melts into a puddle of motherly goo.


"Victor, are you all right?"

Fiona catches him making his way off the balcony, shuffling the walker they decorated with garish fake flowers and tons of jibbitz. He nods and holds up a finger across his lips.

"Shhh. Come watch this."

She tiptoes over to him and he points at the balcony. "Watch."

A few breathless minutes later a cat appears, and Fiona suppresses a gasp. It is by far the ugliest cat she's ever seen: a large tabby-and-white tom, one eye and one ear missing, the other ear torn to shreds. Large patches of fur are gone as well and his tail is just a stump. The cat approaches a bowl of food Victor has left out there – and Fiona smiles: cat food and little cubes of Spam.

Together they watch as the cat warily sniffs the food, then wolfs it down with gusto. When he's finished he spends a few moments washing his face and paws, stares at them and quietly jumps up on the railing and disappears.

Fiona looks at Victor and realizes he's weeping silently. She touches his hand, then wipes his face with her sleeve. He just nods, suddenly self-conscious, and she quickly kisses him on the cheek.

He smiles.


"Victor, are you all right?"

Sam goes to the stairs and sees Victor sitting at the top, his face buried in his hands. Victor wipes at his eyes and nods.

Sam hands him the CD. He's never heard of the opera "Akhnaten", but Victor wanted it and he couldn't believe how hard it was to get a hold of the damn thing.

Sam points at the boom box.

"What's that you're listening to?"

"Soundtrack, 'Apollo 13'," Victor mumbles and tries to get up. Sam grabs the cane leaning at the railing and helps him with it. Victor puts the new CD next to the boom box, flops onto the desk chair and sighs.

"You're crying over a soundtrack?"

Victor wipes his face and stares at him.

"Haven't you ever seen or heard anything that was so beautiful it made you bawl?"

Sam has to think about it.

"Actually, there was this one lady friend of mine, and she had this collection of European beers. She let me try a bottle of this Bavarian brew, Andix or something, that was made by monks…"

Victor's eyes are the size of saucers, then he smiles.

Sam grins back at him. "Well… yeah, I guess I do know."

Victor nods, closes his eyes and listens to the music. It is rather beautiful, Sam has to admit.


"Victor, you gonna be all right?"

Michael is taking him along on a smaller op that won't require any running, an intel gathering mission at a daycare center. He would have rather had Fi, but she had to go with Sam that morning to deal with a gun shipment.

Michael worries when Victor gets near children – not for the kids, but for his friend, and he would do anything to avoid giving Victor this sad reminder.

Victor nods, his face serious. "I appreciate your sensitivity in the matter, big guy. But I'm all cried out about kids. I closed that chapter on my life for good. What's important now is to keep these little ones safe. I promise I won't flip out or anything."

Michael hesitates as they arrive, but Victor is already off like a rocket, catching a ball sailing over the fence and tossing it back to the kids with a loud whoop and this weird little dance that reminds Michael of Snoopy.

The kids adore him instantly. And Michael knows that Victor is back in action now.


Thanks for reading! A comment or feedback would be lovely.