Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grand Gestures and Day To Day Life 5.10.1

A/N: Fi and Mike and Burn Notice fiction-y goodness. Head here if you want to start at the beginning.


He's gotten home from his meeting with Pearce. And, to say Fi was less than thrilled with him when he left would be something of an understatement. Part of it is she always gets tense and snappy at him when he comes back wounded. But the much bigger part is that upon waking up, he was back to his rather emotionally closed-off self. He could tell she was hoping for more after last night, but, well, he's not good at this.

But he's trying to be better.

Which means making a phone call, to a priest.

For a spy, the ability to have a truly private conversation is a fine art. It has to be. And for Michael Westen in particular it's a skill that's been honed and tested against the best. Because when you've got the combined weight of a massive international conspiracy on your head, at least two and probably more US government agencies, plus every organized crime syndicate in Miami all itching to find something to use to make you do what they want you to, you really need secure communications.

Fortunately spies learn how to talk so no one gets to hear.

And Michael is a very, very good spy.

First and foremost, the burner phone. At any given time, Michael has at least three of them hidden around the loft, so finding one isn't an issue.

He checks it and everything he's wearing to make sure it's clean. This one is clean, which it should be, he bought it less than a week ago, but just because something is new and still sealed in its original packaging doesn't mean that it's clean. His clothing is fine. With that he grabs a pair of shoes. He knows shoes are easy to bug, so he's got a special little toy hidden under the shelf all of his live on. It's a magnet. A very strong magnet. Any electronic gear that might end up in his shoes won't be working by the time he puts them on in the morning. His sun glasses also live on that shelf.

So, now all he has to worry about now is bugs on everything else in his life, directional mics, and people planted to be near him and listen.

There are ways around that, too. He slips the phone into his pocket and walks to the nearest car rental place.

He's never actually used this agency. Usually, they steal cars for quick jobs. But somehow it seems, sacrilegious, or something, to steal a car to talk to a priest about being a better man.   

The clerk hands him a set of keys to a non-descript Ford Focus and he hops in.  Like wearing a suit from Walmart, driving it isn't something he enjoys, but when he needs to do it, he can, and do well at it.

He doesn't have a place to go in mind. The idea is to just drive and talk. Easy enough.


He's sitting in the parking lot of the rental agency, car idling, going nowhere.

He sets the earphone and dials the number. Fi's already called Father Ian Guier, let him know who Michael is and that he'd like to talk to him. So it's not precisely a cold call. But still, his hand is trembling slightly and he's very aware of the fact that he's put eleven numbers in, but still hasn't punched the call button.

Drive. Get moving first. Then hit the call button.

He pulls into traffic and decides that if he's going to do this, he might as well kill two birds with one stone. He's always on the lookout for good places to hide things, so now would be a fine time to drive around and see what he can find.

He's idling at a stop light. Now would be a really good time to hit that button. Nothing is going on. He's not distracted or trying to precision drive.
He picks up the phone and stabs the call button with his thumb.

Michael's not a religious man, but he's awfully close to praying that the phone will go to voice mail.

"Hello." No such luck. The voice greeting him is deep and sounds like working-class Belfast.

"Ian Guier?"

"Yes. And this is?"

"Michael Westen. Fi called you about me."

"Fi's man!  Yes she did, lad. She's been telling me about you for years."

The patented Michael Westen I'm-horribly-uncomfortable-but-smiling-so-you-don't-notice-look is remarkably ineffective over the phone.

"Urgh..." He was hoping to come up with something more eloquent than that, but nothing is springing to mind. "Yes."

"And..." Ian says. Yes, this would be the point in the conversation where one usually comes to the point.

"I'm trying to be a better man for her."

"Stop wasting my time and yours. This doesn't work if you're doing it for her. You'll try, fail, and end up resenting her for it. Call me when you want to be a better man for yourself, and we'll have a shot at something."

That wasn't what Michael was expecting, at all. He feels a real smile creep onto his face, and begins to understand why Fi likes this man.

"What's the first step in being a better man for myself?"

"Figure out who you are. Then figure out who the better version of that is. Not a version you think Fi would like, but who you want to be. Get that set in your head, and give me a call."

"I can do that."

"Then go do it. It was nice talking to you."

"Likewise." Michael hangs up the phone, not sure of what just happened, but feeling like this might not be nearly as bad as he thought it would. Though, given the choice between deep personal introspection and setting himself on fire, fire might still be easier.

Time to go home. Who knows what fires he'll have to put out for the CIA tomorrow or what Sam and Jesse will have found out about Tavian?

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