How many layers were there? How far in advance was this planned?
Why did he wake up in Miami?
That makes perfect sense now. Five years ago, as his Mom pointed out, he had no one. A few friends, like Sam, but no one who he cared enough about to betray the US for. There was no one who could be used as leverage against him.
Why was Fi there when he woke? Had that been manipulated? How could Anson's information be that good?
But when he thinks about it, he's sure it had to have been. Fi's contact information was still in his wallet. True. Her contact information in Ireland. He left in 2000, before ubiquitous cell phones with portable numbers. There was absolutely no way any member of the Glenanne clan who might have picked up that call was just going to give information on how to get a hold of Fi to a stranger. Even if it was a stranger saying she was calling about Michael Wes... Oh hell. No one in that motel knew he had been Michael McBride, and no one in Ireland knew Michael Westen.
Everything was manipulated. That far out the pawns were being put in place.
In 2006, there was no one in Michael Westen's life he loved. He'd try to fix whatever it was, that was his duty to his friends and family, but there were lines he wasn't willing to cross. Duty will only get you so far, and that's where his duty stopped.
Love on the other hand...
Love makes good tactics hard. Love makes cold decisions difficult and hot ones fast and easy. And love has put him in a terrible position. Put all of them in a terrible position. Starting with the lingering affection that kept him from killing Larry the first time he came back from the dead, and ending with Fi pushing that detonator. Love's screwed them all this time.
Love makes him want to break Anson's neck the next time he sees him, and get out of the States with Fi before his mysterious contact with the evidence even knows Anson's gone. Love means that plan doesn't work, because his Mom would understand them running, except he wouldn't be able to tell her about it. They'd just vanish one day, and it'd hurt her so badly. Love means his mom crying on Sam... Sam, who'd be questioned endlessly about where they might have gone. Sure, Sam can hold his own, but if there are any more worms in the wood, anyone beyond Anson, and he's not willing to believe Anson's the only one left at this point—this damn organization has more layers than an onion—Sam might end up in a lot of trouble for aiding and abetting.
Tactics. Organization analysis. What he's good at. Go cold, put love and rage aside, and think.
Anson and Management spent half a lifetime building up this organization. At its height, it had members in every major government agency doing God alone knew what. And now it's only Anson and Michael. And maybe Fi.
Management is gone.
Management. Michael can feel that's a key to what is going on.
Anson recruited the people. Management ran the ops.
Michael smiles, a cold, hard smile that no one in his right mind wants pointed at him. Anson may indeed be smart, and he's a damn good reader of people, but he's not Management. He's not the one who makes the traps and catches the flies. He's the guy who provides the bait.
Michael knows a few things. Management is gone. They didn't get him. He's just gone. Assumed dead. Hell, he might even be dead. It wouldn't be impossible. But no matter what, Management is not involved in this, because Management was cold. He understood that if everything goes haywire, and the whole world is upside down, you vanish and you stay vanished, and you don't go out for petty revenge.
Like love, revenge makes cold decisions difficult and hot ones easy. Anson's made a hot, irrational decision. He should have stayed gone. He should have vanished like Management, off to the ethers, and slowly began recruiting again. If what he wanted was his power, his organization, his ability to make pawns dance to his tune, he should have never gone anywhere near the one person who has a proven track record of taking that organization down. It's bad tactics.
And with that comes a moment of perfect clarity. He's had a few of them over the years. The night before he joined the army was one. Joining the CIA was another. When Strickler said Fi was his past. When he handed Jesse the NOC list. Yes, he's had them before, but somehow this one is sharper, born of a crisis deeper and more personal than any he's dealt with before.
Laying there in the dark next to Fi, both of them awake but not sleeping, Michael knows who he is. He knows who he wants to be, and he hopes, harder than he's ever hoped for anything, that he'll get the chance to be that man.
Fear is gone. Rage and fury has destroyed it, destroyed the capacity for it. In one stroke, Anson killed his ghosts.
Michael is violence, balanced by skill, bound by honor, and focused narrowly, aimed at the men in this world who treat people like pawns. He's done being a pawn. He's done being a weapon for others. He will be his own weapon, and he will aim at the people who run their own games, ruining lives right and left, not caring about those lives, because the big picture is what interests them.
He thinks that man is someone Fi will like. They can be Robin Hood together, right the wrong, free the enslaved, and go in and save the day when the day needs saving.
As long as he can be smarter, harder, and more determined than Anson. As long as he can end this and get free to be that man.
He closes his eyes, swallows, and buries the hate. Anson is hot, so Michael needs to be cold. He needs to be a better tactician than Anson, because it's entirely possible he's not smarter, and extremely likely he doesn't read people as well.
Anson will die, and he's going to be the man who does it, but first he's got to make sure his family is safe.
He snuggles up next to Fi. She's a little surprised to see him do that. Neither of them had been in a cuddly sort of mood. But he wraps his arms around her, his fingers in her palm, the blanket over both of them, and begins to tap what he's thinking, in Morse code, into her hand.
I-u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d she taps back. It's an awfully slow way to communicate. But there's no way Anson can pick it up with a mic or see it with whatever surveillance gear he might have set up.
Sam's going to have a heart attack when he sits next to him at Carlito's and puts his hand on his knee to start sending signals.