The Things They Carried

Summary: The agents of Graceland are masters of keeping secrets. But sometimes, secrets have a way of coming back to haunt you.

Disclaimer: I own nothing; Graceland belongs to Jeff Eastin and USA.

A/n: I know it's been a while; but the semester is almost over, so hopefully I'll be able to write a bit more often in the VERY near future. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this chapter, and let me know what you think!

Mike hurried up the stairs and into his room, crossing his arms as he finally came face to face with Juan. "You aren't going to find anything… Agent Clarke and his team searched this place from top to bottom less than 48 hours ago, and I haven't even really been here since then…"

"I'm not searching for anything," Badillo replied. "I'm here to tell you that you have twenty minutes to pack your things. You've been taken off this assignment permanently."

"I'm being reassigned… why now?"

"That isn't what I said." Mike closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. "I need your gun and your badge."

"You can't do this…" Mike began.

"I can, and I have. Pack your bags."

Mike sighed, crossing his arms and looking over at the man. "Do you mind?"

"Badge and gun first."

Mike walked over to his dresser, opening the top drawer and pulling out the badge. "Agent Arkin has my gun. She took it while I was in the hospital, to make sure I wouldn't do something stupid."

"Someone else had access to your weapon?"

"It's in a locked box. She can't actually get it without picking the lock – the key is with my house key." Mike pulled his key ring out of his pocket, putting the two items together and holding them out for the senior agent. "This isn't right."

"This is what you've brought upon yourself, Agent Warren." Mike closed his eyes as the man took the items from his hands, shoving them into his pocket. "You have twenty minutes."

Mike wasn't sure what to do, once the man had left the room. He knew that he needed to pack, but given the suddenness of everything he wasn't really sure how to proceed.

"Mike?" Mike turned towards the door at the sound of Charlie's voice.

"He took my badge, and he's asking Paige for my gun…" Mike began, closing his eyes in an attempt to stop himself from crying. The moment Charlie's arms wrapped around him, Mike broke down and let the tears fall. "I have twenty minutes to pack my things to leave…"

"He can't do this…"

"He already has…" Mike hugged the woman, letting his forehead rest against her shoulder. "I don't know what I'm going to do, Charlie… I don't have anywhere else to go…"

"First, you're going to take a deep breath and calm down." Mike closed his eyes as he did what she suggested, feeling his muscles relax even though he knew it still wasn't going to fix his problems. "Good. Now, we're going to get out your suitcases and pack up your stuff to get you out of here before Badillo freaks out on you again."

"I don't want to run away from this…" Mike began.

"This isn't running away," Charlie assured him, guiding him towards the bed before getting out the old hard-sided suitcase he's arrived with. "This is distancing yourself from a problematic situation so that you can work things out. As soon as we have you out of the house, we can start working on getting this sorted out…" Mike nodded, sighing and following the woman's lead as she started packing his clothes in the bag.

"I can do that…" Mike tried to take the clothes away from the woman, but she shook her head and put the items in question into the bag.

"Right now, you just need to get as far away from Clarke and Badillo as possible, and that means we need to get you out of this house. The faster you can get out of here, the better." Mike nodded, sighing and moving to the desk to start clearing out his possessions.

"I don't have a badge…" Mike began, sinking down in his desk chair as he realized what that actually meant.

"I know…" Charlie began.

"No… Charlie, I can't see Nikki. I can't get into the building… I don't even know if I'll be able to talk to her…" Mike closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I don't have insurance, which means I can't afford to go back to Arizona… I can't get help, Charlie…"

"I'm sure there's another way…" Mike shook his head. "Mike, we're going to figure all of this out. I'll talk to Nikki, see what she can do to stop this…" Mike closed his eyes, his hands gripping the arm rests on his chair tightly. "Mike, it's going to be okay."

Mike stood up, pushing his way past Charlie and rushing into the bathroom. He slammed the door, locking it quickly and leaning back against the door. He couldn't deal with this.

"Mikey… Mike, open the door…" Mike closed his eyes as he heard the woman knocking on his door. "Damn it, Mike… give me a chance to work on this problem… we're going to figure out how to fix this, but you have to come out of there!" Mike bit down on his bottom lip, closing his eyes and trying not to think about the fact that his entire world had just been turned upside down. "Mike… c'mon… please…"

"We can't fix this…"

"Nikki can… I'm sure of it!"

"Going to Nikki is what got me into this situation!" Mike could hear the woman sighing through the door.

"Mike, it can't get any worse here… they've done everything they can to you at this point. You have nothing left to lose by fighting this…" Mike couldn't stop the tears from falling as her words hit home. She was right – he really didn't have anything else that they could take away from him.

"Is Mike okay?" Mike closed his eyes as he heard the sound of Paige's voice on the other side of the door.

"He locked himself in the bathroom… he's taking it pretty hard." Mike stood up slowly, sighing and opening the door. "Mike…"

"Just get me out of here. Please."

Mike leaned his forehead against the back of the bathroom door, praying that Paige and Charlie hadn't heard him getting sick in the bathroom. It was a small motel room, which Mike knew meant luck probably wasn't on his side. "Mike?"

"Just a minute…" Mike flushed the toilet, knowing that disposing of the evidence wouldn't really do much to keep the two women from knowing he'd just been sick behind the closed bathroom door.

"We know what you were doing, Mike… just come out…" Mike opened the door, leaning against the door frame as Paige handed him a glass of water. "I know you're stressed out by all of this, but backsliding isn't going to help you any…"

"I know, Paige… I'm not an idiot." Mike took the glass despite the fact that his hand was shaking. He did his best to ignore the fact that he could barely keep it in his hand, but it wasn't even up to his mouth before the glass had slipped from his hand and fallen to the cheap carpet.

"Shit…" Mike closed his hand after a moment, closing his eyes and sighing as the woman picked up the shards of glass and threw them into the trash can. "Just stay still for a minute, let me clean this up…"

"No, Paige… I'll do it…" Mike started to kneel down, grasping at the door frame as things started to get fuzzy again.

"You're going to cut yourself… you're shaking too much," Paige replied, pushing Mike's hands away as he tried to grab a piece of glass. "Just sit down, Mike… I'll handle this. I don't want you to hurt yourself…" Mike did as he was asked, leaning his head back against the door's frame as Paige finished picking up the rest of the big chunks of glass. "I'll have to borrow a vacuum from the housekeepers to finish cleaning this up, but for now you'll just have to keep your shoes on when you go into the bathroom.

Mike could feel the shaking starting to get worse as the woman spoke, and he dug his fingernails into the palm of his hand in hopes that it would somehow help him keep his body under control.

"Mike!" Mike opened his eyes again at the sound of Paige shouting his name, surprised at how worried she looked. It was pretty clear he'd zoned out for a while, although Mike didn't even remember doing it. "Come on… let's get you into bed." Mike took the woman's hand as she offered it, letting Paige pull him to his feet. He couldn't help leaning against Paige as she led him over to the bed to sit down. "God… Mike, you have to eat something. You're really scaring me right now…"

"I'm okay…"

"You just threw up again, you're shaking, and you couldn't even walk over here on your own… don't even try to lie to me right now, Mike." Mike looked up as the front door of the room opened, letting Charlie back inside.

"Nikki's… shit, what happened?" Mike closed his eyes as Charlie started to speak, before quickly getting distracted by Mike's physical state.

"His lunch didn't stay down… now he's shaking and really not doing well…"

"I'm still here…" Mike began.

"We should take you back to the hospital."

"And who's going to pay? I don't have insurance if I don't have a job, Charlie…"

"Nikki's looking into your employment status right now… Badillo doesn't have the authority to fire you himself, and she doesn't think Clarke could get away with firing you when he knows you're mentally ill…" Mike closed his eyes, pulling his knees up towards his chest and wrapping his arms around them.

"I really don't think we should wait until we've heard from Nikki… you look awful right now."

"Thanks, Charlie…"

"She's right, Mike… you look like you're going to pass out at any moment…"

"I'm not going to pass out," Mike replied.

"You're lying to yourself, Mike."

"I'm not going to the hospital… not until we've talked to Nikki." Mike sighed, lying down on the bed.


"No… I want to know what's going on here before I do anything else. It's my life we're talking about, and I'm not letting someone else make my decisions for me…"