Disclaimer: Burn Notice and all of its characters belong to Matt Nix and the USA Network.
"They say I was baptized in dirty water, by the hands of the Devil himself,
Between the banks of a whiskey river, beside the Highway to Hell.
I got scars on my heart and knuckles, I got debts that I ain't paid,
Yeah, but I got a blessing, sent down from Heaven.
Baby, you're my saving grace.
Girl, you got an outlaw ready to lay down all my guns,
A dirty old hound dog learning new tricks like cuddling up.
You got a hellcat purring like a kitten, you got a sinner down on his knees.
It had to be hell on an angel,
Loving the Devil outta me."
-"Hell On An Angel" Brantley Gilbert
I never claimed to be a saint. I was a bonafide mercenary. I traveled the world, met new and exciting people, and then killed them. I loved my job. It was something that I had been born to do, but when that wire transfer with the Russians had gone sour and I had been running for my life, that had all changed.
It had been 10 years since I'd been back to Miami, so you can imagine the surprise when I was being kicked awake from my unconcious state and found myself in a dingy hotel room. I groaned low in my throat and rolled to see Fiona staring at me. There was a blast from the past...turns out I should have checked my emergency contact in my wallet more frequently. Though, I can't pretend I wasn't shocked to see that she had actually come to the hotel when the maid had called her.
In retrospect, keeping that number in my wallet may have been the best decsion of my life. If that maid hadn't called Fiona, I probably never would have seen her again, and I wouldn't have realized that she was the reason for the bone deep chill that had followed me out of Ireland. I missed her. You weren't supposed to miss assets. Compartmentalize. That phrase had been beaten into me during the twelve month training period in D.C., and it seemed to have gone out the window the day that I met Fiona.
"Michael?" Her voice shook me from my reverie, and I realized that she must have been trying to get my attention for quite some time. I shook the thoughts from my head, and turned to look at her.
"I'm sorry, I got distracted." I mumbled, looking down into the yogurt cup in my hand and stirring it absently. The memories of the men that I had killed seemed to have deterred my appetite, so I reached out and set the little plastic cup onto the workbench.
"Penny for your thoughts?" She whispered, moving closer and settling onto my lap. My arms wrapped around her waist automatically and held her tightly.
"Overpriced at that." The witty reply came easily, and I couldn't help the twitch of a grin at the corners of my lips when she swatted my chest playfully.
"Come on, what are you thinking about?" Suddenly serious, she ducked her head to meet my gaze. I let out a sigh and shook my head, dropping my chin to my chest.
"It's nothing, Fi. Just memories."
"You really miss it...don't you?" The hurt in her voice stung, but I nodded subtly. "You and Jesse are going to figure everything out, and you two will be back to playing spooks for the government any time now." She tried to slide off my lap, but I held her fast and tucked my finger under her chin to bring her face up again.
"Fi, I don't want to have to leave you again. Once was bad enough, but," I hissed out a breath between my teeth and pulled a half shrug. "This is something that I was made for. I'm a spy. There's nothing else that I can imagine doing."
"What's wrong with what you're doing now? You help people, you're around your family." She paused before adding, "You're around me. Michael, I don't know that I'll be able to adjust to sleeping without you next to me again."
"I have spent all of this time since I got burned running from people who want to kill me. That puts you, and Sam, and Mom in danger. I don't want me being here to get you guys killed. You mean too much to me." Oh God. There were tears hovering on the corners of her eyes. Fiona crying, while a rare occasion, was one of my weaknesses that could bring me to my knees every time. "Please don't cry, Fi." I whispered, reaching my thumb up to brush away the ghost of a tear on her cheek.
"'I don't want to lose you. I can't lose you.' Do you remember when you said that to me?" I nodded. "What happened to that? You can't let someone take me away, but you have no problem slipping back into a job where I'll never see you?"
Deep down, I knew she was right. I had said that to her because I meant it. Losing Fiona would be the death of me, and I knew I wouldn't even be able to function the same way that I had when I had first signed on with the Special Activities Division.
"I'm sorry, Fi." I spoke around the knot of emotion in my throat and buried my face into the crook of her neck, inhaling the scent that I had grown to know as purely Fiona. "I...I meant it when I said that. I don't want to lose you. Maybe I won't have to leave. I can do some other type of work with the agency, maybe I can stay here in Miami."
"Michael, don't you ever want the option of having a family someday? How can you do that living that kind of lifestyle?"
"Fi, how the hell could I have a family anyway? There is always going to be someone banging down the door to try to put a bullet in my head. If anything were to happen to you, or our child because of me? That would be it. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if that were to happen."
"Our child?" She repeated, her brow quirking and her lips slipping into a sad smile. Oh lord, I'd never live that statement down. "So, have you thought about our child often, Michael?" I leveled a halfhearted glare at her before responding.
"Fiona, if I were to ever have a family, there is no one else that I can imagine having children with. You're it for me. Plain and simple. There is no one else that I want in this world." Her grin widened and she wrapped her arms around my neck before placing a kiss to the end of my nose. "And yes, I have thought about our children on several occasions. They'd have your eyes, and your stubbornness." She glared at me playfully.
"I should hope that they would have my personality too, because their father's isn't the greatest." I chuckled under my breath and nodded. I couldn't say that I didn't agree with her.
When you are a spy, however, you aren't supposed to think about having a family. The 'children' fantasies shouldn't permeate the parts of your brain that should be catalogued with owner's manuals for every foreign and domestic weapon, and the basic ways that you can use your shoe lace as a silent weapon.
"Why are we still discussing this?" I whispered, my eyes flicking down to her grin and back up to her eyes quickly.
"Because, like it or not, you want to have children. You want to have a family, and that idea scares the hell out of you. But, one of these days, it's going to happen, and you need to be ready to play 'Mister Mom' when our little bundle of terror comes into the world."
"Is that so? Why do I have to play stay at home dad?" I smirked, trying my best to ignore the curl of anxiety that tightened in my chest.
"Because I'm going to be the bread winner. You have this uncanny ability to stir up trouble, Michael, and I think that stealth is going to be more effective." I let out a full bodied laugh that came all the way from my toes and looked at her skeptically.
"Since when have you been the stealthy one? Blowing up buildings is the exact opposite of stealth." She scowled at me playfully.
"I can be stealthy when I want to. Besides," She slipped off of my lap and moved into the living area and flopped down onto the bed, grabbing the shoe catalogue off of the floor and flicking it open causually. "Attempting to find a stealthy way to blow something up would be worth coming home and seeing you all domesticated. I can see it now, pool in the backyard with the kids splashing their 'Uncle Sam' who, I'm sure, will be floating on an inflatable chair and sipping a mojito, grumbling at them like a grouchy old man. You, standing in front of a large, range grill with a cute little teal polo shirt and a 'kiss the cook' apron, with a 'welcome home, honey' smile. It would be rather interesting. Oh, and you know your mother would always be on the patio, playing gin rummy with the nice old lady from next door."
That was it. I sprung from my seat and jumped onto the bed, pinning her beneath my weight and tossing the magazine to the side. She let out a very un-Fiona like giggle, and hooked her stilleto-clad foot around my calf, pulling my closer. I leaned down and indulged in a deep kiss until she was whimpering beneath me. When the need for air became too great, I pulled away and smirked at the pout that she gave me.
"A 'kiss the cook' apron, huh?"
"I was thinking maybe even a pastel colored puka shell necklace." She teased, her fingers tangling into the curls in my hair at the base of my skull. I shook my head and laughed at her once again. "I like when you laugh. You don't do that often enough." Her fingers skittered across my cheek before coming to rest on the side of my neck.
"I'll make a note of it and I'll pick up a joke book on my way to get that apron." She giggled again and kissed me softly.
"What would those esteemed Russian businessmen think if they could see you now? I think I should buy one of those fancy hats that people wear in the circus." I quirked an eyebrow at her, not quite understanding that transition. "Maybe even a stool and a whip. I have tamed the wild operative. I think that there really should be a medal for this sort of thing." She mused. I smirked at the statement, but I knew that she was right. I wasn't the man that I'd been ten years before then, and I knew that she was the cause of the paradigm shift in my personality.
As difficult as it must have been, she had domesticated me (well, as domesticated as a former spy could get), and I was suprised to realize that I was alright with that. The picture that she'd painted actually almost sounded good, minus the apron, of course...well...maybe. When you decide to become a spy, there are things that you realize you'll never have to sit through again. Weddings. Boring birthday dinners. Anniversary parties. A night at some chain restaurant where the waiters wear a ridiculous amount of pins on rainbow colored suspenders with a bunch of 'guys from the office' wearing off the rack suits and cheap dress shoes.
But, the way that Fiona had put it, maybe being a domesticated man wouldn't be so bad. Lord knew that she had been through hell and back trying to get me to that point, and I'd be damned if her effort had been wasted.