Disclaimer: Burn Notice and all of its characters belong to Matt Nix and the USA Network.
This fic is dedicated to leelee0474. Thank you for all of the kind words that you've given me and for supporting me in my attempts at fanfic. It means a lot :D This is just a little something that I came up with this morning. My relationship with my own mother is so simliar to the relationship between Michael and Madeline that it scares me, so I figured they needed to have a heart to heart that would set Mike's head straight. Enjoy!
"Baby, I have been here before, I know this room, I've walked this floor,
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch, love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah."
-"Hallelujah" Leonard Cohen
"All I'm saying, Michael, is that you should think about getting a real job. Maybe a house. Settling down." My mother was like a broken record sometimes. I rolled my eyes from under the hood of the Charger.
"Mom, I don't think someone with my...past jobs is really qualified to get a 'real job'." I straightened up, peering at her from over the top of the hood. "And I have a house."
"You have a glorified storage space over a night club, Michael. That hardly qualifies as a house." I let out a sigh and contemplated bashing my own skull in with the wrench in my hand, but I thought better of it. Messy. "Fiona isn't going to wait around for you forever, you know."
"What are you talking about, Ma?" I questioned, my brow quirking upward.
"I'm talking about the fact that you've got that poor girl chasing the ghost of a chance to be with you, and you're just stringing her along like a sap. For reasons I can't quite figure out, she's in love with you, and you're just breaking her heart." I stared at my mother, my mouth hanging open for a few moment as I wracked my brain for something to say. "And I know that you love her, so don't try to tell me that you don't." She added, wagging her cigarette at me like she was a Nun in a Catholic school scolding me.
"Ma, it's not that easy. Fi is..." I ran my fingers of my free hand through my hair before letting both of my arms fall to my sides. "It's complicated." Me and Fi? Complicated? Understatement. We were dysfunctional. Toxic. Volatile. But, on the other side of the double edged sword, we were perfect. We did the dance around each other very well, because we knew what happened if one of us stepped out of rhythm. The white, thick scars on my arm and stomach were enough of a reminder of that.
"Comlicated? Love doesn't have to be that complicated, Michael. You two just seem to have an uncanny ability to complicate things." She chuckled, taking a sip of the beer that she had sitting on the roof of the Charger. "Why don't you just tell her how you feel?"
"She knows how I feel about her." I was speaking more to the engine than my mother.
"Are you positive? Because, more often than not, you may think women know how you feel, but we always like to hear it from your mouth. It makes us feel special. Makes us feel loved." She took a long drag off of her cigarette, inhaling deeply before letting the smoke creep from her lips like serpents.
I sighed and leaned my hip against the side of the Charger. The warm metal against my skin was comforting. Fiona had once told me that she'd never seen me so attached to something in my life as I was to the Charger. She was half right. I was very, very attatched to that car, despite where it had come from, but there were other things that I cared about.
"I...yeah, I'm pretty sure she knows, Mom."
"Pretty sure and positive are polar opposites." She chastised, pursing her lips and shaking her head at me.
"It's a pretty big grey area." I grumbled, shutting the hood and wiping the grease on my palms off on my jeans. Deep down, I knew that she was right, and I stared at the keys in my hand for a moment.
"Michael, you know that you want to go. Just do it." My mother gestured broadly down the driveway with her arm as she grabbed the beer off of the roof. I groaned and nodded, slipping into the driver's seat and fired up the engine. My mother grinned at me as I backed out of the driveway and headed towards Fiona's apartment, not quite sure what I was going over there to say.
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The sun had sunk down below the horizon by the time I had finally gathered up the courage to move the Charger from the ten blocks away that I had parked and into Fiona's driveway. I sat in the car for almost twenty minutes before heaving a sigh to the steering wheel and slipping out of the car.
I jogged up the walkway and knocked on the door solidly. It took twenty-three seconds for Fiona to open the door, her Makarov in her hand, pointed at my face.
"Good to see you too, Fi." I grumbled, brushing the gun away from my face and guiding her hand down to her side. She squinted at me, her lips pursed in the typcial Fiona Glenanne scowl.
"What do you want, Michael?"
"I want to talk." There was a pregnant silence. "Can I come in?" Fiona hesitated for half a second before stepping to the side and gesturing for me to come in. I swept my gaze over the perimeter once more before stepping inside.
"Okay, what is it that you want to talk about?" She questioned, crossing to the table where her whiskey decanter and crystal glasses sat. She poured herself a glass and downed it quickly.
"I just want you to know..." The words got caught in my throat as I was somehow unable to voice them. How the hell was it that she constantly left me speechless?
"Michael, I think that I know where you're going with this, but I already know. You don't have to elaborate." She gave me a dismissive wave of her hand and flopped onto her overstuffed couch, her legs crossing at the ankles as she leaned her head on her hand.
"Jesus, you have got to stop letting me off the hook so easy." I shook my head on an exhaled laugh and sat down next to her. "My mother wanted me to make sure that you know how I feel about you. I told her that I thought you knew, but she said that you'd probably prefer to hear it from me."
"I know that you're not good at this. Neither of us our. I would never put you through the traumatic event of making you voice your feelings. It would just kill me to know that I put you through that." She said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. I leveled a halfassed glare at her.
"Fi, you don't have to be like that. I'm here, aren't I? That's got to count for something." She shook her head.
"Look, I don't want you to have a stroke in the middle of my floor, so I'm letting you off the hook, Michael. Just go home. Get some rest, you look like hell. When was the last time you slept?" I pulled a half shrug.
"I've gotten enough sleep." Lies. My entire career was based on them, but it never made lying to my friends, the people I loved, any easier. "Now, stop trying to change the subject. I came here to tell you something, Fi, and I plan on seeing that through." I could tell that I had her full attention when she shifted on the couch to face me.
"Okay." She sighed, scooting closer and running her fingers over the side of my neck, into my hair. She tugged at my ear lobe, sending a shudder through my body as I recalled the first time she'd done so in the darkest corners of a pub when her hand had slipped under the waistband of my pants and had slid around me until I had released a groan of completion against the side of her neck.
That was how it had always been with us. Fast and dangerous. The sex mirrored our personalities, and that little tug on my ear had quickly become a sign of affection that surpassed the physical planes of our bodies sliding against each other in the chilled Ireland air. Since my burn notice, she used it to remind me that, even though we didn't say it, we both had a silent understanding of the relationship between the two of us. In a convoluted way, it was rather comforting.
"Fi, I know that it's hard for you to trust me, after everything that happened back in Ireland." I started slowly, pacing my words so that I had enough time to figure out exactly how it was that I was to go about finishing my confession.
"I do trust you, Michael. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here, you know that as well as I do." I brushed off the statement and continued.
"But, I want you to be able to trust in this." I reached into the breast pocket of my suit and pulled out a small, white gold ring. My hand was shaking as I handed it to her. Fiona's eyes flicked to mine as she reached out and slipped the ring onto her finger. The deep blue and gold heart shaped gem was framed by two white gold hands, and a white gold crown settled on top of it.
"Michael..." She gasped, running her thumb over the ring gently, as if it would break if she pressed too hard. "It's beautiful. What is the stone?" I shifted closer and wrapped my arm around her shoulders, tucking her against my chest.
"It's called a Lapis Lazuli. It's called the "light of the gods"." I whispered against her ear, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "I had someone make this for me when I was still in Belfast. It represents knowledge, wisdom, calmness, strengthened physical and mental powers," I paused and nipped at the skin just under her ear, smirking at the gasp that slipped past her lips. "Passion. But, more importantly, it represents love and faithfulness."
She turned a tentative gaze to me, her brow furrowed. Steeling my nerves, I collected my wits and allowed myself to continue.
"Fiona, I've been in love with you since the day that I met you. You're the most amazing woman in the world, and I am so glad that you chose to stay here. With me." Reaching out, I brushed away the tear that had skittered down her cheek. "I can't promise you hearts and flowers, Fi, but I can promise you that I'm always going to be here."
"Michael, I've never asked you for hearts and flowers. All I have ever wanted to do was be by your side." She whispered, her voice barely audible.
"I know you haven't, but you deserve more than I can give you. I love you, Fiona Glenanne. I always have, and I always will. I want you to know that, and every time you look at this," I brushed my finger over her ring. "You will remember that you deserve so much better than me. When I figure out who burned me, I'm going to get back into my work."
"Michael, your own country hung you out to dry, and you want to go back to them?" She gaped, staring at me curiously.
"Of course I am, Fi. I told you, I was made for this work. It's who I am." There was another long silence between us as she looked between the ring and my face.
"Whatever you choose to do, Michael, I will be there. I will always be there, reguardless of whether or not I agree with you. I just," She sighed and pressed her forehead against mine. "Just be safe."
"I will, Fi. I promise." She nodded and disentangled herself from my embrace, just as my phone began ringing. I flipped the phone open and pressed it to my ear as I stood and started pacing the room. "Yeah, Sam?"
"Hey, Mikey, I need your help with a job. It's for a friend of a friend of a friend. Mind meeting me down on the boardwalk?"
"Give me twenty minutes, I'll be there." I clapped the phone shut and slipped it back into my pocket. "Fi, Sam needs help on a job. You in?" She smirked and stood from the couch to wrap her arms around my shoulders, placing a kiss to the side of my neck.
"Every time." The sentiment was bittersweet as she moved out to the Charger, the matte black glint of the gun strapped to her leg just under her dress catching my eye. I felt awful for not being able to give her everything that she deserved, but I was damned happy to have her by my side.
I followed her out to the car, and we tore off through the night toward the boardwalk. We had a job to do, and our relationship would always take a backseat to that. She deserved my full attention, but she was willing to settle with what I could manage to give her on any given day. Fiona was an angel strapped with C4 and a pistol, and she chose to stay with a sinner like me. Perhaps love wasn't all that complicated after all...