Disclaimer: Burn Notice belongs to Matt Nix and the USA Network.

I want to thank DKougar, leelee0474, Burner4life, i luv ewansmile, PSGProductions271, and southpawokpoetfor all of your continued support. So, what I would like to do is write a fic dedicated to each and every one of you, just to show you how much I truly appreciate your continued reviews and love. Of course, I would be willing to write a fic for anyone, if you have an idea you want me to write, PM me and let me know and I'll see what I can do.

This fic will be dedicated to the person who I can always count on to leave a very descriptive and in depth review, DKougar. I always look forward to your reviews when I post a fic, and I'm always so happy to hear from you! I hope that you enjoy this. I actually wanted to reply to the comment that you left on my fic, "Darkness Falls".

Despite the fact that I'm a 21 year old woman and should, theoretially, empathize more with Fiona, that isn't the case. Michael and I have many simliar personality traits. I also suffer from severe PTSD, but I tend to keep it locked down and not let anyone see it, so every couple of months I have a bit of a break down like the one that I wrote in that fic, which is why I got the idea to write that.

I'm very jumpy, I don't trust anyone, I have a pechant for keeping guns like a squirrel keeps acorns, and I do have a slightly masochistic streak. Our life stories are very simliar, and I think that is why I prefer to write from his point of view, and I hope that it comes across in the way I write him. Actually, I had a moment such as the one in the first season (I think) when Michael was going "armed sit ups" and Sam walked in, and my buddy told me he was worried for my sanity.

Personality wise, we are also very simliar, even down to the fact that I constantly eat yogurt (blueberry even). That is actually while I started watching this show. A friend of mine once called me "Mike" when I was eating yogurt, and I was confused, so he showed me an episode and I was hooked. I honestly think that the reason I was hooked in so easily was that 'kindred spirit' vibe I got when I watched that first episode. Okay...I'm rambling...I'm gonna stop now.

Much love, J. Rook

"I hate living without you, dead wrong to ever doubt you.

My demons lay here waiting, tempting me away.

Oh, how I adore you. Oh, how I thirst for you. Oh, how I need you.

Comatose, I'll never wake up without and overdose of you.

I don't wanna live, I don't wanna breathe unless I feel you next to me.

You take the pain I feel, waking up to you never felt so real.

I don't wanna sleep, I don't wanna dream,

'Cause my dreams don't comfort me the way you make me feel.

Waking up to you never felt so real."

-"Comatose" Skillet

There were dull sounds, sounds I really had no business hearing in the state of conciousness that I had adopted. The soft beep of the various machines hooked into my body. The stuttered breath that Fiona drew as she stared up at me from the chair next to the bed, her chin settled on top of our joined hands. The sound of Sam tapping out, what sounded like, a MORSE code prayer on the doorframe with the 'lucky' half dollar he kept tucked in his back pocket. The soft whimpers of my mother as she, no doubt, prepared herself to lose another son. The sound of Jesse rocking himself back in forth in his chair.

I'd scared the shit out of all of them, I knew that. I'd pushed too far, and the universe had finally come to push back. I'd skated by on dumb luck and overconfidence for the better part of my career, but that night on the docks I knew that I had run out of both.

The sound of deafening gun fire had filled the air, and the flash of muzzle flares lit up the dark boat docks. Fiona's panic voice calling my name was all I could hear, drowning out the agitated yells from the drug dealers that we'd been dealing with. She dropped to her knees beside me and pressed her hands over the seeping wound in my chest.

I had been convinced that I was going to die as I sucked in ragged breath after ragged breath, staring up at the velvet black night sky, and muttering Fiona's name under my pained breath. When I'd finally collected my thoughts enough to look over at her, I saw the tears streaming down her ivory cheeks. I hated seeing her cry, and I had lifted a shaking hand to brush away the tears, but ended up scowling at the streak of blood that my fingers left in their wake.

I had tried to tell her everything that I had been avoiding for so long, but couldn't seem to force the words from my throat. I wanted her to know that I loved her more than anything in the world. That I was sorry for leaving her in Ireland, and that, given the chance, I never would have done it. That I wanted to let the burn notice thing go, and I wanted to live out the rest of my life with her; making love to her in our bed, in our house, and raising our children together until we were both old geisers in our rocking chairs telling stories about the good old days of when I was a spy and she was an IRA terrorist to our grandchildren.

I wanted to tell her all of that and so much more, but the only thing that would come out was the choked sound of dark blood gurgling in the back of my throat. Sam had come to my side at that moment, his slightly larger hand closing around mine and his hand settling onto the side of my face.

"It's okay, Mikey, we're going to get help. You're going to be laughing about this before you know it." He had muttered around the tears that were hovering on the edges of his eyes.

I had wanted so damned badly to scoff at him, because I knew that the metallic taste on the back of my tongue meant anything but that I would be laughing about this any time soon. It was when the rain began to fall softly from the sky and onto my chilled skin that the world had gone black around me, the melancholy symphony of sirens wailing in the background like some sort of gothic lullaby.

That was the first time that I had honestly thought that I was going to die. Sure, there had been times that I had been staring into the dark, metallic abyss of a gun barrel, or facing the glint of light off the sharpened edge of a blade, but there had never been another time that I really thought I was going to die.

If you've never been held in the cold, icy embrace of death, I wouldn't exactly recommend it. Death is a time to recall all of the things that you never got around to doing. All of the 'someday's that really ended up being code for 'never going to happen'. I never got to take Fiona to Paris to walk under the twinkling lights on the Eiffle Tower. I never got to make amends with my mother for letting my baby brother get killed. I never got to go on that deep sea fishing trip that I'd promised Sam we would do 'next year' for three years. I never got to live my life.

And yet, there I was, hooked up to a life support machine with the people that I loved surrounding me. I'd put them through hell and back, and they were all still standing there as if losing me would actually effect the daily living of the rest of the world. Like, if I were to stop breathing at that exact moment, the Earth would cease to tilt on its axis.

I leaned against the doorframe, my arms crossed over my chest, and stared at them, my chest tightening at the sight. So, this was what an out of body experience felt like...

"Hey, jackass." Came a familiar voice from behind me. I spun around, my hand automatically going to where my gun should have been. "Oh, please. You can't honestly tell me that you think spirits get to carry weapons, can you?"

"What the hell is going on, Nate?" I questioned, quirking a brow. "Am...am I dead?" Nate shook his head and laughed at me.

"If you were dead, those machines would be making a helluva lot more noise than they are right now, and the people in that room would be hysterical." I ran my hand over the back of my neck and pulled a shrug.

"Maybe. It's not like I've given them much reason to miss me lately." I was unpleasantly surprised to find that a spirit smacking you in the back of the head did, in fact, hurt. "Ow! What the hell was that about?" I snapped, rubbing the spot where Nate's palm had connected with my head.

"That's for thinking that you don't matter enough for it to bother them if you died." He pointed into the room at Sam, Fi, and Mom. "You don't think that, if they mourn a fuck up like me, they would miss someone who actually contributes to the world?"

"Nate, that's not what I was saying, and you know it." I replied, scowling at him. He waved me off, and started walking down the hallway. I stared after him for a moment, glancing back into the room before following him. We strolled past the doctors and nurses in their scrubs and families hovering around hospital beds. "Where are we going?" I called after Nate, placing my hand to the dull ache that had begun in the center of my chest.

"Would you just trust me, for once?" He sighed, ducking down a hallway and stepping into the elevator. I followed him, and we rode in silence for a few moments before I glanced over and saw him swaying softly from left to right.

"What the hell are you do-."

"Shhhhhh." He hushed, waving his hand at me and closing his eyes as he continued to sway. "I love this song." I opened my mouth to respond, but thought better of it. Even in death Nate was an enigma that I would never figure out...

When the elevator doors opened, I was shocked to see that it was no longer part of the hospital, but instead was the living room that had haunted my childhood. The sound of angry voices caught my attention as my gaze snapped over to where a much younger version of myself and Nate were arguing by the front door.

"You can't go! What are we going to do when you're gone, Mike?!" Nate barked, his hands tugging on the straps of the bag that hung in my hand. I ran my hand over my newly buzzed hair and pulled half a shrug.

"I just have to get out of here, Nate. I can't stand living in this hell anymore. I'm going to basic training, and then I'll get my station orders. I'll send you a letter as soon as I can, just...don't tell Mom until you know that I'm on a plane..."

"You're pretty damned selfish to leave us here like this, Mike."

"Nate, it's my job to protect you. I've done that since you were born, but I have to do this. For me. I'm always going to protect you. And Mom. I care so much about you guys, but I need you to be strong until I get back." Nate sighed and nodded, pulling me into a hug.

"Just promise that you're going to come back. And be careful." He muttered into my shoulder.

"I promise." I replied, nodding before pulling away and shrugging the bag onto my shoulder. "I gotta go."

"I love you, bro." Nate said with a sad smile.

"I love you, too."

"Do you remember that, Michael?" Nate questioned, staring at me as I watched myself walk away.

"That was the day that I left for the Army. You told Mom as soon as I got on the airplane and she called to bitch out the airport for letting me get on the plane. Of course I remember it." I replied quietly, turning to face him.

"That was also the day that you promised that you'd be back to take care of me and Mom." My stomach clenched. "How the hell do you expect to keep that if you're laying in a hospital bed and talking to your dead brother in your head. Sounds a little my crazy if you ask me, bro."

"I know. I broke that promise, and I'm sorry."

"You haven't broken it yet, you can still look out for Mom. But," He turned to me and placed his hand on my shoulder hard enough to make the muscles quiver. "The thing is, you need to wake up Mike."

Confusion furrowed my brow when his voice gave way to the sound of Fiona's sob laden voice. My eye lids fluttered open and I found her with her face burrowed against my chest and her fists were clutched in my hospital gown. I could feel the hot tears seeping through the thin material and onto my skin.

"Fi?" I questioned, my voice hoarse and coming out as more of a croak than an actual word. Her eyes snapped up to mine, her fingers tightening on mine.

"Michael? Oh my God, you're awake. Thank God." She breathed, leaning forward and placing her forehead against mine, her lips brushing over my face. "I was so scared, Michael." She whispered, her eyes closed and her hands moving up to frame my face.

"I'm here, Fi. I'm not going anywhere. I promise." I replied, my arms wrapping around her tightly and pulling her onto the bed next to me, ignoring the flare of pain in my bullet wound. My gaze flicked to where I saw Nate hovering in the door way, a content smile on his face, and his hand extended in a thumbs-up.

"Ever?" She whimpered, tugging on my ear gently as she spoke.

"Never ever."

My mother was the next to notice that I was awake, and she gave a strangled cry that sounded like a call to Sam, who came running from just outside the room with Jesse. They were both by my side in seconds, their hands touching mine and their smiles lightening the atmospehere of the room.

In that moment, I knew that there was no where else that I would rather be. I made a promise that I was going to always be there to protect my family, and it slowly registered that my family was no longer just Mom and Nate. It was the entire ragtag band of misfits that had been with me through thick and thin. They were my responsibility and I wasn't going to let them down. It had just taking a comatose state and a conversation with my brother who I thought I would never see again to make me realize how much we all needed each other.

We were all the dysfunctional, mismatched pieces of a puzzle that completed each other, and I would be damned if I let anything happen to that.

So, I have no idea about how this turned out. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Let me know what you think? Please?