DISCLAIMER: Burn Notice doesn't belong to me unfortunately.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout all of the fandoms I have been involved in. I've met some truly wonderful people who I know will be in my life forever. I appreciate every review and as much as I would love to send some personal replies sometimes I just don't have enough hours in the day.
As always, thank you to my wonderful friends, Purdy's Pal and JediSkysinger for reading through this story for me.
Also thank you to my lovely twitter friends. You're all very special and I am blessed to have you all in my life
This story is based on 6x17 and 6x18. I'm still recovering from that final scene and this is my way of dealing with it.
She felt betrayed, confused and lost all in the same moment and all she wanted to do was curl up into a ball and forget everything.
Paying the consequences
The darkness around her matched the black sheath that encased her heart. The numbness had set in some time ago to leave her feeling utterly drained. Had the last few months just happened or had it been a nightmare? She'd asked herself that question every time she succumbed to sleep, taking five minute cat naps when her body couldn't keep up with the physical strains she was putting on herself.
She had believed everything Michael had told her…right down to his promises of leaving the CIA, but when she'd seen him only hours ago trying to explain his motives to her she just couldn't hear him out right now. She felt betrayed, confused and lost all in the same moment and all she wanted to do was curl up into a ball and forget everything.
A knock on the bedroom door brought her out of her self-imposed gloom and she slowly looked towards the beam of light that entered into the darkness.
Madeline's voice brought another wave of tears to her eyes but she blinked them away as she leaned back against the headboard.
"I'm fine," she whispered hoarsely through the rawness in her throat. "Just…"
"I know you're not fine, honey," Madeline told her softly when she pushed the bedroom door further to let more light pool into the room. Stepping further inside she focused on the tiny woman who was huddled on the oversized bed and felt her heart break for her.
"Madeline…" Fiona whispered brokenly. "Please…"
Shaking her head Madeline made her way towards the bed and sat down onto the edge before she reached out to lay a hand over Fiona's ankle.
"Michael called aga—"
"I don't want to talk to him," Fiona all but hissed as she spun her head around to face her.
"I know, I told him you wouldn't," Madeline sighed. "But he asked me to tell you something."
Fiona shook her head, part of her still unwilling to hear what Michael's mother had to say, but when Madeline squeezed her ankle she could feel her eyes sting with fresh tears.
"He really does love you," Madeline started but she stopped when Fiona drew in a sharp breath.
"No," she growled, pulling away from Madeline's touch. "He doesn't. All he loves is his damn job."
"No!" Getting up from the bed Fiona turned to face the older woman, thankful that the bed was between them as she wrapped her arms around herself. "He's got what he wanted. He never wanted me."
"Honey you don't believe that," standing up, Madeline stepped around the bed towards the younger woman but she backed away.
Looking around the room, Fiona searched for her bag but suddenly realised that she didn't have anything left. Nothing…not one thing…
"I need to leave," she gasped out suddenly, her voice rasping through the ache in her heart. "I—"
"But it's the middle of the night," Madeline protested even though she stepped back when Fiona surged passed her and practically ran out into the hallway. "Honey…please…"
Fiona swallowed down the burning in her throat and hurriedly wiped her eyes before she blindly headed towards the door and yanked it open. The night air hit her full on and she gulped in greedily like she was starved of oxygen. Her eyes stung and her lungs hurt as she tried to breathe in while controlling the shaking that had overtaken her body.
Taking another step forward she lifted her head upwards and closed her eyes tightly as she tried to pull herself together. This wasn't who she was…she was strong, she was a Glenanne…but no matter how many times she tried to tell herself that, it just didn't seem to register.
A sound behind her brought her back to the present and she turned abruptly to meet Madeline Westen's worried eyes. Swallowing hard she tried to smile but her mouth wouldn't seem to work.
"Fiona, he's my son and I—"
Fiona held up her hand to stop her before she could say anything else and took a step backwards.
"I know," she whispered brokenly when another tear slipped down her cheek. "I really do…"
Madeline's eyes glistened in the darkness as she held out her hand, gesturing for the young woman to come back inside, but to her dismay Fiona stayed stock still and unmoving.
"I know you're upset, believe me I am too, but you shouldn't go through this alone," stepping closer again, Madeline's fingers grazed Fiona's arm as her own torrid emotions slipped down her cheek. "Please come back inside."
The tremble in Fiona's voice almost broke Madeline's heart but before she could speak, the younger woman stepped forward and laced their fingers together.
"I need to…process," she murmured softly as she untangled their hands so she could pull the older woman into a tight embrace. "My life is a mess…I just need to figure out where I go now…"
"Honey, stay here with me. Mich—"
Pulling back, Fiona reluctantly moved out of Madeline's arms only to hold onto her hand for a few more seconds before she released her and stepped away. The raw pain in her eyes shone out into the darkness but she knew that Madeline understood.
Nodding her head, Madeline ignored her own tears as she pulled her cigarette pouch out of her pocket and tried to smile, but failed miserably.
"Do what you have to do, sweetheart," she told her softly, placing a cigarette in between her lips. "You always have a home here."
Fiona felt her heart clench as she slowly turned away, feeling Madeline's eyes on her with every step she took. Michael's betrayal had cut far too deeply to make her think of anything but the hurt right now, and maybe she could forgive him eventually…but right now she couldn't see anything but pain.
Her head hurt and she had no idea where she was going from here but she knew she just needed to get away, far away from Miami but she just couldn't think straight right now. Heading out into the street she felt another pang encroach her when she realised that her car had also been lost in the aftermath that was Michael Westen. Everything was gone, everything but her love for him and she knew that even that would take time to quench. How could she stop herself from loving a man she had loved for so many years…But that was her problem and she had to learn to deal with it.
Looking around the darkened street she surveyed the area before she chose a mode of transport to get her out of here. Her new life had to start and to do that she had to purge herself of the old one; she just had to say a mental goodbye to something first…
Madeline sat at the kitchen table and plucked a cigarette out of the pack and lit it using the one she had only just finished smoking. Taking a long drag she watched until she could see the satisfying glow at the end of the cigarette before she stubbed the old one into an ashtray.
She sensed a presence behind her and knew instantly who had come to her house at two in the morning. Without turning around she tapped the burned ash into the ashtray before she lifted the white stick to her lips again.
"I wondered how long it would be before you showed up here."
Michael drew in a sharp breath as he moved closer towards her and for the first time since Nate's death, he realised he hadn't heard her voice sound so flat. Moving closer he placed a tentative hand onto her shoulder before he stepped around her and sat down into the opposite chair and reached for her hand.
"Three weeks!" she hissed as she snatched her hand out of his and folded one arm across her stomach while she stared at him. "Three damn weeks they had us in a holding cell and all you can say is, hi mom?"
Michael shifted in his seat and swallowed hard as he thought of what he could possibly say to explain why he had done what he did. Lifting his eyes to hers he opened his mouth to speak but the words died on his lips when he saw the empty shelves where the family photos once sat.
Madeline turned to see what he was staring at and for a fleeting moment she felt a little sorry for him but that soon passed when she remembered the way Riley and her agents had ransacked her home, leaving her feeling violated. Lifting her cigarette to her lips again she held it there for a few seconds as she regarded him quietly.
"Riley and her men helped me…de-clutter."
The mention of Olivia Riley's name sent shards of regret to soar through him but he pushed those feelings away when she turned back around to look at him.
"I'm sorry, mom," he sighed, repeating those same words over and over again. And he was sorry, he just had to try and convince the rest of his team that he was ready to explain everything to them, but that was proving harder than he's first thought.
"Don't worry about it honey," she told him nonchalantly as she waved her hand over the bare shelves. "I was in the middle of packing them away anyway."
"It seems like the best idea," she shrugged. "You've got your job back, Sam's talking of getting married and as far as I know Jesse's still got his job…and with Fi leaving too there's nothing left for me here."
"Fi's leaving?" Michael moved forward in his seat and grasped hold of her hand again to bring her eyes back to his. He opened his mouth to blurt out another succession of apologies but the words died on his lips when she shook her head.
"So was it worth it?" she asked, her eyes holding his as she spoke. "I don't really know what happened but I'd like to believe you did it because you didn't have a choice—"
"Mom you have to believe me," Michael's gaze softened as his eyes glistened with tears. "I never wanted any of you to be detained—"
"None of us wanted to be locked up Michael," she snapped, but her voice softened once more when she saw her son's eyes flare with sorrow. "Just tell me you'll make it right with Fi."
"I promise," he nodded, even though he knew that first he had to try and make her believe that he didn't want things to end like this.
She watched him for a few more moments before she stubbed her cigarette out into the ashtray and pushed the chair back to stand up. Her whole body felt like she'd been hit by a truck but her sorrow and disappointment kept her grounded while she watched her son unravelling before her eyes.
"Mom…" he tried again, his voice breaking as he spoke. "I need you to know…I'm sorry…"
"You said that already," she told him shakily as she fought with her instincts to comfort him. "Look honey, I'm tired…none of us have really slept much since…well…"
Michael stood up and swallowed at the lump in his throat, his eyes searching the back of the house for any signs of the woman he loved, but he couldn't see anything but empty bookcases and desolation.
"Did you tell Fi I needed to see her?"
"I tried," she sighed sadly as she turned to face him, her heart aching for him when he looked so lost. "She just needs some time."
"How can I explain when she won't listen to me?" he groaned miserably. "I have to see her…I—"
"She's gone," Madeline sighed, her own sorrow causing her voice to quiver. "She said she had to get away, and—"
"Get away?" he gasped out, his voice slicing through hers. "Mom, where did she go? I need to see her to explain why…I…"
"Why you broke her heart again?" she asked sadly when she saw the realisation dawn in his eyes. "Yeah she told me what you'd promised."
"But I had no choice…I had to do what I thought was right," he urged as he stepped forward to grasp hold of her hand. "I had to go back. It was the only way to save all of you."
Madeline's gaze dropped down to their joined hands before she lifted her eyes to his. There were so many things she needed to say to him but she just didn't know where to start, so instead she squeezed his fingers before she pulled her hand form his.
"I'm going to bed," she told him sadly. "If you're staying lock the door, okay. I'll talk to you in the morning."
"Mom…" he whispered, his voice trailing away when she carried on walking away from him and towards her room. Michael's mind was screaming at him to find the people he loved and make them understand that he didn't turn his back on them like they all believed he did. He never intended for this to happen, he never wanted…
Looking down at the watch that he had been presented with on his return to the CIA he suddenly realised why they all thought the worst of him…he had to make it right before he lost them…lost Fiona, forever…
Reaching for his phone he dialled Fiona's number and placed it against his ear as he mentally prepared for her to hang up on him, but the phone went straight to voice mail. His heart thundered inside his chest and he clamped his eyes shut before he pressed the phone off and slid it back into his pocket.
Where would she go? The agency had assured him that she wouldn't be held accountable for anything that she had done in the past; he just wished he could talk to her to make her understand. He did everything for her, not because he wanted to break his promise he'd made to her in Panama, he just wanted to keep her safe.
His cell phone chirped to life and he snatched it out of his pocket again. Glancing down at the screen he saw an agency number blinking up at him and immediately pressed it on.
"Sir, you asked to be informed of Glenanne's whereabouts."
"Yes I did," he nodded, even though his brain screamed out at him for sounding so unemotional.
"She's just been seen entering your former residence. Do you want—"
"No," Michael snapped officiously as he turned on his heal and headed towards the door. "I'll handle it."
Fiona's heart thundered inside her chest when she pushed the charred heavy door to the loft open. The metal scraped across the ashes that used to be the wooden floor and she tried not to let her emotional attachment to this place get the better of her, but she couldn't help it. Stepping further inside she heard a sob echo throughout the loft and it took her a few moments to realise that the noise had come from her.
Holding her hand over her mouth she allowed her eyes to adjust to the darkness and she suddenly regretted coming back here. The bed she had once shared with Michael was a burned mess, and she couldn't help but compare the sight of their former bed to their relationship. They were damaged and maybe they were too far gone to be repaired.
Lowering her hand she sniffed back the moisture in her eyes and stepped tentatively over the blackened floor to stand beside the shelves that Michael had built for her so long ago. All that was left of it now was a shelf that had escaped the destruction of the flames and she wondered if it had anything to do with her snow globes that it had once held. Looking around the floor she spotted a charred base of one of her collection and slowly bent down to retrieve it.
The glass was gone, obviously destroyed in the fire and the, 'Welcome to Miami' plastered across it was no longer white but a dirty grey. She pondered for a few moments on what this had meant to her when she'd first arrived but in the end it didn't really matter anymore. Sighing heavily she picked up the unburned shelf and rested it onto what was left of the work bench before she placed the remains of her snow globe onto it. Stepping back to admire it she felt her eyes sting with emotion but she swiped the beginnings of tears away to search for more of her broken globes.
She was so engrossed in her work that she didn't hear Michael enter the loft until he stepped on a buckled floor board, the crack alerting her to his presence. With lightning speed she reached for her gun and pointed it at the intruder, her aim unwavering when she moved closer.
"Fiona," he whispered her name on a sob, his voice breaking when he moved closer. "I—"
Snatching her arm back she lowered the gun and tucked it into the waistband of her jeans and returned her attention back towards her broken globes, before she trusted herself to speak.
"What are you doing here, Michael?"
Michael's eyes stung with emotion when he moved even closer, all the while regarding her with the same trepidation that he did with any explosive.
"I've been calling," he started as he edged closer. "I wanted to talk to you…"
Gasping in a shuddered breath she stepped away from him before he could touch her and turned away to move towards the smouldered remains of the dresser that used to house most of her clothes. She was trying her best to ignore him but it was becoming increasingly more painful as the seconds ticked by.
With a heavy heart she pulled open a cracked drawer and looked inside, hoping to find something that she could salvage, but everything that she'd once kept in here was gone. Abandoning her search she moved to the broken wardrobe and carefully lifted the charred door away and propped it up against the blackened walls. She heard Michael approaching but she refused to let his closeness affect her any more and busied herself with pulling the remains of a large metal box out onto the floor.
Surging forward Michael helped her place it onto the floor, relieved that she was letting him. That relief was short lived however when she managed to prize the lid up and revealed the items that he'd told her she had to leave behind.
"Don't," she forced out through the raw pain that carved its way through her heart. Reaching inside the box she picked up the photographs of her family and tried not to cry when she realised that most of them were beyond saving.
Michael watched her as she shook and ached to touch her but he was afraid to. He didn't think he could ever forget the way she broke before his eyes when she realised what he'd had to do to save all of them. He hadn't intended for their lives to be like this or for her to react the way she did. He just didn't expect her to leave him…not after everything they'd been through.
"Let me help you," he pleaded when she got back to her feet and tried to search for anything that she could salvage from this mess.
"You've done enough," she told him through gritted teeth, the numbness giving way to the anger that had been simmering inside her beneath the sorrow.
He watched her brokenly as she snatched charred fabric from hangers only to toss items to the floor when she saw how ruined they were. She just seemed to be a beacon of fury, going from one place to the next leaving as much destruction as the fire before she suddenly stopped to survey the damage around her.
"Nice suit," she snapped haughtily as she shot him a deadly glare. "It's good to know one of us did okay out of this deal of yours."
Swallowing hard he cursed himself for not changing out of the black suit and he could only imagine the thoughts that were rampaging around inside that head of hers.
"I have money for you to buy as many clothes as you want," he tried, hoping that the promise of an unlimited supply of money would bring her around, but all it seemed to do was infuriate her more.
"I don't want your damn money," she growled furiously. "I want my snow globes and my photos…"
"I'll replace your snow globes," he urged desperately. "And I can ask the agency to help repair the damage to your photographs."
Fiona's body shook as she made her way back towards the box that had once housed all of her treasures and snatched out the sodden pieces of paper that only held blurred images now. Looking down at them she searched the loft for something that she could place them in but in the end she realised that there was nothing left here for her anymore.
Lifting her eyes to his face she tried not to love him when she saw the hopelessness in his gaze but the memory if his betrayal was all too much to bear. The photographs slipped from her fingers, falling into a moulded head onto the floor but she refused to look at where they had come to rest.
"Everything I owned is gone," she managed before her emotions betrayed her. "Everything I was has been destroyed."
"I'll replace it," he told her quickly, reaching out to touch her but she snatched her arm away from him.
"You've got what you wanted…why don't you just go back to your damn job and sit in your nice office and give your orders," she raged. "And I'll try and rebuild some kind of life for myself."
"You're being unreasonable," he tried, reaching for her again but she slipped out of his grasp. "Fiona just listen to me."
Standing stock still she wrapped her arms around herself and stared at him, the look in her eyes enough to bring a mere man to his knees, but Michael wasn't just any man, he was and always would be the love of her life.
"Okay," she told him coldly. "Talk."
"Can we please go somewhere else for this?" he asked, his words coming out on a sigh as he spoke.
Shaking her head in defiance she kept her eyes on him and shrugged her shoulders. "I don't have anywhere else to go."
"Fiona…" edging closer he tried desperately to reach her and hoped that this time she wouldn't pull away. "Please…"