Fiona paced nervously in the hotel lobby. She had called Sam and asked to meet with him at the hotel, wanting to talk to Sam in a place that Michael almost never went. The last thing she wanted was Michael interrupting this conversation with Sam.
Waving from the elevator, Sam shouted Fiona's name. "Fi! Over here!" She walked over and looked around nervously. "Everything ok Fi? You look nervous and you sounded anxious on the phone. Mikey alright?"
"He's fine, but I'm not. Can we talk privately, maybe in a room or office?" Fiona asked, looking around the lobby. She bit her lip as soon as she finished her sentence.
Sam nodded and pressed the elevator button. "We'll go up to the suite I share with Elsa. She's in the office right now, so we'll have privacy for a few hours."
Fiona tapped her foot, waiting impatiently for the elevator to arrive. "What we have to talk about won't take long."
Once inside the elevator, Sam scanned Fiona's frame. Her arms were crossed, her hair was pulled back in a messy bun and her eyes were a bit puffy. This was not the Fiona he knew and it worried him. He finally said to her "Fi, you're scaring me, tell me what's wrong."
"He went to see Tom Card. Card thinks he might have a lead on Nate's killer in Panama." Fiona said, looking straight ahead. "I think we might be going to Panama."
Sam shook his head. Both remained quiet as they rode the elevator to Sam's suite. Fiona glared straight ahead. Once the elevator stopped and they exited, he knew that Fiona was not noticing the peach paint on the walls and the white doors that dotted the hallway. Arriving at Sam's suite, he pulled out his key and opened the door for Fiona. She immediately sat down on the couch while Sam took two beers from the fridge and opened them. He sat down next to Fiona and watched her play with the hem of her shirt for a moment. Sam handed the cold beer to Fiona and signaled he was ready to listen by telling her "Ok, talk to me."
Fiona leaned back on the couch. She was trying hard to contain her emotions, which if you asked her, were a mixture of extreme anger and heartbreak. "Michael, for as long as we both have known him, has always been driven and obsessive about whatever he's chasing. First he was trying to get unburned, then he went after Anson and now he's hunting for Nate's killer. I have a very bad feeling about this one Sam. He's so tired. I don't think he's slept a solid eight hours since I've been home. He gets up in the middle of the night and either reads through files or he just stands on the balcony looking out into the night. He's not eating enough. I cook for him but he barely eats what I set in front of him."
Taking a sip of his beer, Sam tried to figure out where Fiona was going with this conversation. He didn't want to play a guessing game with her, so he asked Fiona "What do you want me to do Fi? I can't make him sleep or eat. He'll be ok and he'll slow down once he finds Nate's killer." He hoped she would be satisfied with his answer, but wasn't surprised when she released a sarcastic laugh.
"Sam, you know he won't slow down. There will always be another ghost for him to chase. There will always be another angle to cover. It's always been like that since we all joined him here in MIami. I am putting my foot down because he has to stop at some point and just let things end. We are all older now and frankly, I'm tired. You have to be tired too. Also, you have Elsa and you are making this lovely life for the two of you. You both really love one another and deserve a chance to make this work." Fiona stopped her rambling and began to peel off the label that was on the beer bottle.
She continued after taking another sip from the bottle. "I know Nate was part of our family, but I know chasing someone who may have killed him and is hiding in Panama will not end well. I know he's tired but he will never admit it. He thinks he has to see this through to the end but..." she stopped talking and took a sip from the brown bottle that she held in her shaking hand.
Sam sighed heavily and ran his hand through his hair. "I know he's tired too. We are all tired but we have to have his back. He needs us and you know that. If he asks us to go to Panama, we have to follow him. We need to keep him safe."
Fiona slowly shook her head. Tears filled her eyes and her voice cracked. "I can't Sam. This is exhausting. I haven't had a moment of rest since I went to prison. I was trying to stay alive until you guys found a way to get me out and as soon as I get out, we're dealing with Nate's death. He's moving so far ahead of me and I feel like I'm drowning in quicksand. I'm afraid I'm going to lose him."
Sam felt bad for the woman he had come to regard as his sister. She was rocking back and forth a little and kept wiping tears from her eyes. He moved closer to her and took the beer from her hand. Placing the bottle on the table, he wrapped his arms around her. "You aren't going to lose him. We'll talk to him and we will tell him that he needs to stop. We can call Jesse and tell him what's going with Mikey. He'll be on our side. We won't give Mikey up without a fight."
Hearing Sam's words and feeling the comfort he was trying to provide to her, she began to sob. Sam held her until she was able to calm down. Pushing away from Sam and getting a tissue from the coffee table in front of her, she said in a fierce tone, "If he does go to Panama, I'm leaving him. I will help him anything he needs if he stays here and leaves the CIA. If he doesn't, then I'm done. I love him more than anything but I can't go on this mission with him."
Sam took a moment to collect his thoughts. "I think just the idea of losing you again will be enough to get him to stop. If he keeps up this quest, then you come here and Elsa will take care of you. We'll get you a room here and you can stay as long as you need. If you want to stay in Miami, maybe we can scare up some clients of our own and do some good work again."
Fiona stood up. "Thanks Sam. I know we've had our differences, but I really don't know what I'd do without you sometimes."
Sam smiled. "Let's hope we never find out. You call Jesse and tell him we are having a meeting with Mikey. I know he'll be on board with trying to Mikey to back down. I'll drive us back to the loft. Just remember, the important thing is the three of us agree."
As Sam drove back to the loft, Fiona dialed Jesse's phone number. She hoped he would answer and be agreeable to meet in middle of the day. She smiled a little when he answered quickly. "Hey Fi! What's up?"
"Jesse, do you think you could get away for an hour or so. Sam and I need to talk to you." Fiona said, looking out the window as the Miami scenery passed by her.
"Sure. I'm on the road seeing clients but I have time before the next one. I'm right near the loft, can we meet there?" Jesse asked.
Fiona answered "Yes. Michael's at a meeting, so he won't be there. If you hear from him before you see us, don't tell him you are meeting with Sam and I."
"Yeah Fi. Not a problem. I won't say anything if I talk to him. Everything ok?" Jesse asked, feeling that something was wrong. It wasn't normal to have a meeting with Fiona without Mike being there.
"No Jesse, everything is wrong. We are almost to the loft. I'll explain when we get there." Fiona said as she hung up the phone abruptly. Fiona continued to stare out the window as Sam drove her back to the loft. Her thoughts were primarily of Michael and how he'd react to his friends not agreeing to help him.
Jesse was waiting at the loft when Sam and Fiona arrived. He was dressed in a gray suit with a pink shirt. Not being one to mince words, he said "Fi said there was an emergency meeting. What's so urgent? I have two hours before I have to be back at work to meet a client."
Fiona gave Jesse the short version of what she told Sam. "I heard a little bit of Michael's conversation with Card when he called this morning. I think he is going to tell us that we are going to Panama to help him catch Nate's killer. I can't do it Jesse. I'm so tired of all the endless action. Sam and you have to be tired too. I just want to go back to the life we had when he was burned. It was a good life we had helping others. I have such a bad feeling about this..." Fiona said, stopping mid-sentence trying not to cry.
Giving Fiona a hug, Jesse said "No crying. I am tired, you are right. It does sound good going back to helping out the average guy and not running with the CIA."
"Guys, maybe we should move inside the loft so Michael doesn't see all of us just standing around chit-chatting. That might tip him off that something else is wrong. Let's go inside and act more casual so when he gets inside he's not already on high-alert." Sam suggested, motioning to the stairs.
Fiona agreed. "Sam's right. He's been so on edge lately that I don't want him to see anything before we talk to him that might clue him in on what we are throwing at him."
Once inside the loft, Fiona went to the fridge and handed bottles of water to everyone. Jesse, drinking his quickly, stood in the middle of the room and said "I'm just going to throw this out there, and I don't know how you two feel, so it might just be me. I don't trust Card. He smiles, he talks nice and he helped Mike get Fiona out of prison, but I think he's a snake and he's going to rear his head and end up biting us. Just a feeling."
Sam shook his head in agreement. "Yeah, I kind of feel the same way. Mikey puts too much trust in Card. Yes, Card was his handler back in the day, but where was he when Mikey was burned? Right away that was a mark against Card in my book. When we had to work with him on that case with Montero, we didn't exactly see eye to eye. Remember how annoyed he was that I had a beer after dragging the body into the house? The only good thing about working with Card was that it helped Mikey get to see you in jail."
Jesse settled down and sat on a stool. "All I know is I can't go to Panama. My job is going really good right now and I can't keep risking it to run off to help Michael with his causes. If we help common people, I can at least sneak out of the office for a bit to help out. I agree with you guys about him being tired and I think we have to tell him we aren't going with him on this one. Its going to get ugly but we got your back on this Fi."
Fiona smiled. It made her feel good that the two men, her adopted brothers, were willing to fight with her. Her smile quickly faded as she heard Michael climb the stairs to the loft. Before he opened the door she muttered to the group "Here we go." She was hoping for the best but expecting the worst.