A/N: Michael and Fi, Sam and Jesse cameos, and something that really, really needed to happen in Burn Notice season five to make it work properly. If you'd like to start at the beginning, click here.
Less than a second after Anton left the loft they snapped out of shock mode and into plan mode. There was no way, no way at all, that they were going to let this psychopath just walk in and destroy everything.
Sam and Jesse were there in a less than half an hour, and by then Fi had a bag packed.
The plan was very easy, get Fi out of the US, to a non-extradition country, take everything to Pearce, and take down Anson. A few weeks, they'd get it all sorted out, and Fi could come back. Anson's leverage only worked as long as she was at risk, and as long as she was out of the country, outside the reach of US law, Fi was safe.
Sure, she's not thrilled about running. And no, he doesn't want to say goodbye to her. But they're both a lot less thrilled about what Anson will decide Michael has to do to keep her out of jail. And they are also sure that if she gets out of the country, this parting will be a lot shorter than the alternative.
"Here's all I could get." Sam hands Fi a wad of bills. "This is everything I had stashed and Elsa had in reserves. It should get you through until you can get some work of your own." Fi holds the bills, knowing it has to be close to ten thousand dollars. She also knows that'll last a whole lot longer than a few weeks.
Sam then hands her a manila folder. "I've always had emergency, back-up documents for all of us, but I had hoped we wouldn't ever need them. You're Elizabeth Galt, born in Glasglow, to American parents. You've been in the US, New York City, for the last thirty years. It's not a great cover, but it should hold long enough to get you wherever you need to go."
Jesse hands her a very heavy bag. "I couldn't get you all of your favorites, but here's the top of the list." She opens it and sees a selection of lovely guns, a few blocks of C4, det cord, a back-up set of lock picks, and five burner phones. "I know it's not everything you'll need, but hopefully it'll be enough so that you can get what you need later."
"If you drop me on an abandoned island with det cord, C4, five guns, and phones, and I can't survive, I don't deserve to live." She smiles at Jesse and hugs him, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
Michael hangs up his phone. "Boat's on the way." One of Fi's gun runner buddies has a shipment going out tonight. A quick detour to pick her up isn't too much to ask. Especially seeing what goodies she's willing to offer for a trip to... wherever.
That's part of this. None of them know where she's going. She doesn't know yet, either. That's the point. No one knows. You can't tell what you don't know. If somehow this can't be fixed—Say, for example, it is illegal, no matter why you did it, to blow up a friendly government's consulate, and the powers that be are not willing to cut any sort of deal—none of them can turn Fi in. And if it looks like they may end up doing time for aiding and abetting, well, Sam's got their escape packages ready to run, too.
Michael looks at the bags, and at Fi flipping through the information on Elizabeth Galt. I will fix this! And one day, when this is fixed, he'll start calling those phones, all of them, as many times as necessary, and she'll come back and...
Fi hugs Sam. Kisses him on the cheek, too, and Michael sees the tears starting in both of their eyes. "We'll get you back. You won't even have time to miss us," Sam whispers to her. She hugs him a little tighter, and then grabs the bag Jesse gave her.
Michael takes her other bags and heads to the Charger.
They drive in silence. He doesn't know what to say. He's not entirely sure he can say anything without breaking into tears. Tactics. He can always talk tactics.
"The New York Times. There's almost always a copy of the New York Times around somewhere. When it's safe to come home, I'll start running an ad for you. A loft in Miami, view of the canals. You'll know it when you see it. That way, if you're somewhere the phones don't work, or if you lose them or something..."
She squeezes his hand, and he squeezes back. "I'll come home, Michael."
He breathes deeply. "I know."
The light turns red, and he leans over to kiss her.
"Fi... if I can't..."
"You'll fix it, Michael. You always do."
"Yeah. But... If..." He can't finish that thought, so skips to the next one. "No matter what, I'll find you. Either you'll get back here, or I'll get there. I'll find you."
The light shifts to green, and he puts the car back into drive. They say nothing the rest of the ride, but her hand doesn't leave his thigh.
He's standing next to her, arms around her shoulders, her head on his chest, and the breeze over the ocean whispers around them. A few small lights, the boat, are moving closer. And with them, the sense of something cherished coming to an end much too soon.
He kisses her again, lips soft and sweet, laced with bitter tears not-quite shed, wishing that he could say something. Something important, something for her to hold close and remember while they're apart. But he doesn't have the words. Can't—for all his fast talk skill and ability to come up with the exact right thing at the exact right time—find something that covers this, that makes this right or...
The sound of footsteps on the dock alerts both of them to something very wrong.
"Lovely night for a stroll, don't you think?" Anson asks. "It's not; however, a lovely night for a sail. In fact, I'd say tonight would be a terrible night for sailing."
The boat that had been coming closer, offering hope to getting out of this, blossomed into a golden orb of flame haloed by smoke.
Anson shook his head. "Nope, not a good night for sailing, at all."
He turns toward Michael and Fi, both staring dumbfounded at the smoldering wreckage of her ticket to safety. "Michael, I understand you had to try to fight this. It's natural. You've overcome or outsmarted everyone else in the organization. You've wiggled out of every trap. But you need to understand this, I know you. And not the way Larry said he knew you. Larry never knew you. Larry saw a mirror image of himself cloaked in your skin. No Michael, I know you. I know what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and why.
"So, I want you to understand this, every idea you've had to get out of this, I've already had. Every contact you think is safe, I'm watching. You are going to do what I want you to do. Fi is going to help. And if you don't, she's going to go to jail for the rest of her life, and then I'll start in on your mom, and after that Sam, because there's a man with more than one skeleton in his closet. Nate is next. His lovely wife, you don't want to know what I've got on her, but I can assure you, a string of abusive foster care families for Charlie will be the best possible outcome if I have to get that far down on the list of people I can use to hurt you.
"You will do what I tell you to, Michael, because otherwise you will learn, first hand, that you've never even
suspected what real pain is, but when I'm done with you, you will know.
"Now, back to the loft with you. I'll see you in the morning."
A/N: Okay, meta rant here. I'm a firm believer in the idea that the actual season of Burn Notice desperately needed this (or something very similar to it) to work. Basically, when Anson showed up and Michael immediately started doing things for him, my suspension of disbelief snapped with an audible twang.
I get what Nix is doing. It's a cheap and dirty trick, but sometimes you need to pull a cheap and dirty trick out. And he even did some of the background he needed for it, but still...
He's hit the problem where Mike is the smartest guy in the room, or at least the smartest guy the writers can convincingly write. But Anson needs to be smarter yet. So he dumbed Mike and Co. down a bit to keep Anson on top of them. Yes, Michael is tired. Yes, he's been going non-stop for years at this point. Yes, Anson's hitting him closer to home than he's ever been hit before.
But I do not for one second believe that Fi, who can get someone else out of the country in about ten minutes, can't get herself out. I don't believe that Michael is so attached to Fi that he literally cannot let her out of his sight if the alternative is doing horrible things to innocent people. And even if he is somehow that fried by working full out for so long, I don't buy that Sam or Jesse didn't say, "Ummm.... Mike, let's get Fi out of the country and go after Anson full-bore. We can prove she's innocent, Anson set her up, and save the day. In a few weeks, we'll get her back!"
So, yeah. Mike and Co. suddenly went way the hell out of character to make the last third of the season work. And out of character bugs the hell out of me. I like to pretend this chapter actually happened, because then their actions over the next few episodes make a whole lot more sense.
Okay, hope you enjoyed that. More touchy-feely emotional stuff and some meta work ahead.