Cross: Chuck and Burn Notice
Summary: Chuck and Sarah can't go anywhere without getting into trouble, not even the beaches of Miami. Lucky for them, Michael is around.
Spoilers: Just general knowledge of both shows
Disclaimer: Not mine, or these two groups would meet on TV.
Spies often look a certain way; handsome, strong and competent if you're male and pretty, petite and smart (or flighty, depending on the circumstances) if you're female. It is a statistical truism that people trust and follow pretty people easier. If they do realize that they are being manipulated, they are more likely to just go with it because the pretty person must be as pretty inside as out.
Because of the CIA's –and every other country's spy recruiting practices, the spies that don't fit the stereotypes-and there are plenty of them- are less often burned as a spy.
So when I saw a tall, gangly, nervous, young man run out into the busy, Miami marketplace, 'spy' was the last guess as to the man's profession. He ran large, shaky hands through dark, wavy hair and looked frantically around. I figured that he was a computer geek who had gotten in too deep with on-line gambling.
Sometimes a spy is so far off the mark that their assumptions can be deadly…
The man looked around for anything that could help him. Michael figured he was searching for an escape route. Then Michael's eyes met the stranger's. The other man had what looked like a petit mal seizure. He was smiling before it passed. Then he charged straight at Michael.
"Agent," he breathed. "I don't know why you're in Miami and I don't care. I need your help."
Michael blinked. Who was this kid? "Do you know who I am?"
He nodded, "Which cover are you using?"
"Arnold Mitchell," Michael answered to test the man. He had only used that cover for two weeks three years ago. If this man was a trap, it was unlikely that he would know it. It was unlikely that anyone but Michael would know it. Even his handler of that time would probably not remember the 'Englishman.'
The stranger had another petit mal and rattled all of Mitchell's stats as if they were his own. Michael held up his hands to stop the flow of information.
The stranger –had to be a CIA analyst with a very high clearance and an eidetic memory- paused and finally breathed. It was curious that while the man knew so much of Michael's ancient history that he didn't know about the burn notice. "I'm Carmichael and I was here on vacation –VACATION- with another agent. And some Russian mobsters saw Sarah and knew her for an old op and kidnapped her and our normal team is not anywhere near here and I can't go to the cops –that would blow her current cover. You've helped other agents in trouble. Will you help us?"
"I'll see what I can do."
"Great," the CIA analyst bounced. "We have to go save her right away. They really don't have a reason to keep her alive other than torture." He reached for Michael's wrist only for Michael to pull it out of reach.
Carmichael raised both hands in surrender. "Sorry, sorry, man. Casey-like. Got it."
"Do you know where she's being kept?" That was the type of things a computer analyst should be able to find without too much trouble.
"Yes," he waved a hand to the north. "That away."
"Lead the way," Michael told him.
Carmichael charged back the way he came. He wove through the marketplace people like a pro and unerringly led Michael to a street of warehouses. He stopped at a door, slid his backpack to the ground and riffled through it. Michael tilted his head back to try to find some evidence of Russians.
"Are they holding Sarah here?"
"No. No. It's on the other side of this one, but they have it surrounded, sentries and stuff. This is the closest building that I can get into that has a good view of that building." Carmichael had been competently pulling out equipment for hacking the door security code. "Do you want another building?"
Michael considered it. "Let's try this building first."
Carmichael flashed a quick smile and hacked the door code. He cleaned up his mess and exchanged the decryption computer for a tranq gun. He thought about it and then offered it to Michael. "It's just tranquilizers," he confirmed.
"Do you have a real gun in there?"
"Yeah, well, it's Sarah's but she probably wouldn't mind. You want that?"
"Yes," Michael said just to see what he would do. Granted, he hadn't spent a lot of time with analysts, but Carmichael felt different that anything he expected.
Carmichael didn't hesitate. He traded the gun with two magazines for the tranq gun. Michael double checked the weapon and found nothing wrong.
"Ready?" he asked. He already had his bag on his back.
Carmichael opened the door and led the way as an armed agent should. Michael followed soundlessly. The analyst walked up the stairs to the roof. The access door opened easily and quietly. Carmichael hunched over and hid behind the far wall. Again Michael followed. Carmichael peeked over the wall with binoculars. After a while he sat beside Michael and handed over the binoculars.
"If you start at the right and work your way to the left corner, I can tell you who's who down there."
That sounded like a challenge to Michael. He peeked over the roof wall to look over at the Russian mobsters. Carmichael started slow, but he rattled off the pertinent data for the first three guards: names, places of birth, preferred weapons and places where Michael might have crossed their paths. He didn't know the fourth guard at all, but that was okay because Michael did and Michael also knew that there was no photo of him in the CIA database. Michael didn't tell Carmichael that though. He just told the analyst to continue. Carmichael did, until he had run out of mobsters to identify.
"How are we going to get in there?" Carmichael asked mournfully.
"We need a distraction," Michael told him.
"Three of them a big betters on horse races, but that's not going to help us here." Interesting, Carmichael both spouted off unnecessary information and knew when he did so.
"No," Michael agreed. "Horses are not available here, but there is one thing that Miami has plenty of."
"Sun? Sand?" Carmichael guessed. Then he figured it out. "Pretty girls with very little clothing. But how do we get them to the warehouse district?"
Michael pulled out his phone. "We call them." Michael called Fiona. As expected, she gripped about having to leave the beach, but didn't really mind being the pretty distraction. She did ask for the mobsters' names; the last thing she wanted was to annoy potential customers. By the time that Michael agreed to Fiona's bargain, Carmichael had packed up all of his things and was ready for the rescue.
"You're staying behind," Michael told him.
"Sarah might not believe that you're a friend," Carmichael started arguing.
"No. I am not taking a civilian into a situation like that."
"You need back-up."
"Fi is as much back-up as I need."
"No. I want you on the ground floor, but out of sight."
Carmichael pouted in a way unbecoming to CIA agent, but quit arguing.
"Now give me a code that she'll trust," Michael ordered. The last thing he wanted was for the prisoner to try to kill him as he rescued her.
Carmichael thought about it. "The van's parked between the Buy More and the Orange Julius."
"I really am more useful than I look," Carmichael argued.
"Stay put. You're sure she in there?"
The analyst nodded. "By the door, it's marked low with lipstick… and blood, but if they moved her in the last fifteen minutes, she would have put a lipstick mark higher on the door."
Unless she was dead.
The former agent followed the analyst back to the ground. They waited just inside of the building for back-up. They didn't have to wait long.
Fiona pulled up the warehouse in a car Michael was sure had been stolen in the last twenty minutes. Fiona was that efficient and she wouldn't want to bring to the warehouse anything that could be traced to her.
Carmichael stared at Fi and blinked. "That's Fiona Glenninch, she's an arms dealer and part of the IRA. You used her in Ireland."
Michael shouldn't have been surprised at the identification, but he was. Fi looked over Michael's most recent client suspiciously, but didn't ask any questions. She poured some alcohol down her bikini-covered chest, kicked off a flip-flop and stumbled her way to the Russian mobsters. She proceeded to flirt in a fun, drunken manner and draw all of them away from the door. Michael took advantage of the opening and slipped in behind them.
He lucked out as he searched the building. None of the enemy was expecting an incursion so they were all loud on their patrols. He had to disable and hide three as he worked his way to the center of the warehouse. He found Sarah by following the sounds of a beating. Two men were hitting someone tied to a chair. Michael knocked both of them out and stepped back for his first impression of the CIA agent he had been sent to save. He looked her over once and then hurried to free her from her captivity.
Sarah looked pretty close to how Michael expected: strong, defiant, silent and beautiful under all the bruises and blood. She was suspicious of his arrival and the fact that he was releasing her. That didn't stop her from trying to yank out of her bonds as soon as possible.
"Sarah, Carmichael sent me," Michael told her before she could hit him.
She froze. Michael could understand. He wouldn't like an analyst anywhere near an op like this, either. And that was discounting the fact that the two of them were on vacation together. "Where is he?"
"I left him in a safe place."
She smirked and though it hurt her split lip, she didn't wince. "Carmichael never stays in the van."
Michael frowned. "The code he gave me was that the van was parked between the Buy More and the Orange Julius." Obviously, it was a reference to an early meeting that wasn't recorded anywhere but that only the two of them would remember. Michael bet that something big had happened in that intersection.
"Which way?" she asked.
Michael turned his back on her and hurried out. He knew that these halls were crawling with mobsters. He only hoped that they hadn't found any of the ones that he had already disabled.
Michael and Sarah rounded the corner to find Carmichael taking out most of the thugs using kung fu. The computer geek was beyond good, he was perfect.
"Told you, he was bad at staying in the van," Sarah murmured.
Michael was a little too distracted by the show to reply.
Kung fu is performed minutely different for every teacher. The styles diverge just slightly depending on who is teaching. If a spy studies hard enough they could identify a teacher by the elite student's moves. But Carmichael didn't fit any category. His style was textbook perfect. If all of the kung fu instructors of the world had a convention and actually agreed on how each and every move should be executed, Carmichael could be the physical demonstration.
Carmichael knocked out the last of his opponents and saw them. He grinned like a puppy coming home, dirty, happy and dragging home something it shouldn't have been able to kill. He only had eyes for Sarah. Since she was walking and armed, all the blood would be fussed over later. He held out a hand to her and Sarah reached out and grabbed it.
"Let's get out of here," she told the CIA analyst who was so much more.
Carmichael let himself be pulled out. Sarah shot to kill two more Russians on their way out and Fiona was waiting just outside the building in a stolen car.
"Don't leave fingerprints," Michael warned them.
Sarah and Carmichael sat in the back as Fiona drove them away. Carmichael dug through his backpack and handed Sarah a hoodie that would cover her injuries. "Thanks for the rescue," Sarah said. "How did you know to come?"
"Carmichael found me," Michael explained.
"He just happened to be in the marketplace. I… recognized him and he agreed to help."
"Just happened to be in a Miami marketplace," Sarah said suspiciously.
"It's my hometown," Michael admitted.
"When he got the burn notice put on him, they dropped him here," Fiona offered helpfully.
"Burn notice?" Sarah said stiffly. "I really appreciate all you've done, but you can drop us off anywhere around here."
"Sarah, you're hurt," Carmichael protested. "And he's a good guy. The burn notice must be a mistake." Carmichael was really optimistic and naïve for a CIA agent. The conundrum intrigued Michael.
"It's not our place to question a burn notice," Sarah told him. "It's our place to obey it."
Carmichael didn't argue any more, but he did meet Michael's eyes through the rearview mirror. "Please drop us off?"
Fiona pulled over. Michael guessed that they were three to five miles from their hotel room. If Sarah was too tired, Michael knew that Carmichael had cash for a taxi. Sarah slid out first. Carmichael paused and held out his hand. Michael shook it.
"Thanks for everything," Carmichael said sincerely. "I'll tell our CO that your burn notice is wrong but… she doesn't listen to me much."
"Thank you." The vast majority of Michael's former coworkers reacted the same way that Sarah had, it was refreshing to hear someone offer support.
Carmichael joined Sarah on the sidewalk and fumbled with his backpack. Then with a smoothness that indicated that Sarah graduated at the top of her Langley class, the two disappeared into the crowd.
Michael never heard from either of them again. Sadly, that was exactly what he had expected.