Wednesday, November 14, 2012

38 Weeks: The Third Week

A/N: Burn Notice romantic fluff. Want to start at the beginning? Click here

The third week, flush with cash and looking to do something nice for Fi, something she would literally never expect, Mike had lunch with Sam.

As anyone who knows him knows, Michael is not exactly the poster boy for unbounded romance. But he's also an awfully fast study. And when he puts his mind to it, he can pull off any cover. He just needs to do the research.

After getting two Mojitos and lunch into Sam, he sat on one of the lounges next to him, relaxed in the sun by the pool at Elsa's hotel, and said, "So, what is it you actually do for these women that they buy you cars?"

Sam sat up slowly, put his drink down carefully, turned toward Michael, and rested his hand on his forehead. "No fever. Who are you and what have you done with Mike?"

Michael swatted his hand away. "I'm serious. I want to do something nice for Fi."

"Take her to the swamps and let her play with her new guns."

Michael rolled his eyes. "Something she won't expect. Something I've never done for her before. Something"—he sighs—"romantic."

Sam smiles, cocky. "And you want help from the expert."

Mike smiles back, his game face on. "I ask Fi for help with explosives. I ask Barry for help with money. Why wouldn't I ask you for help with romance? So, what is it you do?"

Sam smiles again, smugly. "Well, brother, when you make love to a woman—"

"Romance, Sam. Not sex. I'm fine with sex."

"Uh huh... When was the last time you got a $50,000 car from a woman?"

"She went to prison for me."

Sam shrugs. "Point taken. Now take my point, for women, sex is not the same thing as making love. It doesn't begin in the bedroom and it doesn't end when you get up. It's all sex, or all romance, however you want to look at it. Trust me, I'm not about to tell you anything about what to do with your hands or tongue, I figure that's between you and Fi. But if you want to know what it is I do, it starts here. From the first time you talk to her until it ends, you're making love to her. That's where you start."

"So you're not all cheese-y come on lines?"

"Of course I'm cheese-y come on lines. I practically invented the cheese-y come on line, but if I didn't have the charm, delivery, and the ability to look at her like her answer is going to make my entire world light up, they wouldn't work. 

"Okay, first lesson. Here's the one thing Fi and all of my lady friends have in common. They're high-powered girls who don't get enough attention at home.  Lucky for me, my ladies want a man who knows how to take the backseat, doesn't get threatened by the fact that they make more money or spend 100 hours a week working, and will lavish attention on them when they are off. As for you...

"What does Fi want? More of your time, more of your attention. Quitting the CIA was the best present you could have ever given her, so this big deal you're contemplating is just icing on the cake..." Sam pauses and looks at Mike, eyeing him up and down. "This is just the icing on the cake, right?"

"Sam?" The question on Mike's face is clearly visible and Sam relaxes. If that veiled reference to Mike proposing blew right by him, that was just fine by Sam. Creating a nice night or weekend for Fi was one thing. Helping Mike propose to her was another all-together and required a different set of advice.

"Nothing, Mike. We're just talking about a nice night."

"Yes..." Mike looks a little disturbed. "What else would we be talking about?"

"Mikey, if you don't know yet, me spelling it out isn't gonna help."

Mike stares at Sam for a long moment and takes a drink of his iced tea. He seems willing to let this pass. Sam's not sure if he hasn't figured it out, or if he has and decided letting it lie was a good plan. Either way...

"So, icing on the cake. Time and attention. You two have been together, what, fourteen years now?"

"With eight in the middle where we never saw each other."

"Close enough. So, what she wants from you is something that takes your time, requires real effort, and shows that, at some point during those years, you've paid attention to what she likes and wants. It's not enough to come up with a candle lit dinner. Anyone can do that. Your job is to pick a date that's meaningful to her, candles with a scent she loves, flowers that have memories attached to them, the food she loves, cooked the way she loves it, music that has memories attached to it, and then you present all of that to her and spend the time sitting with her paying attention to what she's saying, hanging on her every word, acting like she is the single most important thing in the entire universe.

"Your job is to tailor a night perfectly to her tastes and then make her think that a nuclear bomb could be ticking away in the next room, but you're so into her, you just don't care."

"And this is why women buy you cars?"

"What can I say, Mike? It's a gift. The fact that I'm good with my hands and tongue and have an endless supply of little blue pills doesn't hurt, but hey, they could be dating twenty-three year olds who have rock hard abs, can get it up sixteen times a day on their own, and will follow them around like puppies. But I know how to listen. I don't need to be house-broken. I never take them for granted. And because I've lived a real life of danger and adventure, when I'm treating a woman like she's the most important thing in the world, it makes her feel good because she knows I've seen the world.

"It's not hard to impress a twenty-two year old. There's no sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to keep a baby content. But me, I've seen it all and done most of it, too. Keep me happy, and let me keep you happy, and a woman feels like she's important."

"Uh huh... Let's assume for a moment Fi isn't into me because I'm some sort of accomplishment."

Sam snorted at that.


"Mikey, Fi loves you for a lot of reasons, but the fact that she's got Michael Westen, and her girlfriends have accountants and lawyers is part of it, too. Not all of it, you aren't just a trophy, but make no mistake, Brother, you are a trophy. She won you. Being proud of it isn't a bad thing."

Michael looks extremely disconcerted at that idea. "I'm beginning to think it's just easier to be bad at this."

"It might be. But the rewards for being good at it are pretty damn sweet." Sam looks around his perch by the pool, Elsa's staff bringing them fresh rounds of drinks when and as needed, pretty people splashing about in the tepid water. He can see the balcony of his room, overlooking not just downtown Miami, but also the ocean. He thinks about Elsa, and how happy having her in his life makes him, and yeah, being good at this is awfully sweet.

"Okay, Mike, so you've got the scene set, dinner, food, music, now let's talk presents."

"Let me guess, more effort and attention."

"Exactly. See you aren't bad at this, you've just never just bothered to do it before."

"Hey, I've gotten Fi things she's liked before."

"True. You also forgot her last two birthdays." Michael looks chagrined. "And Valentine's day. And Christmas."

He smiles brightly. "I was really busy?"

"Don't tell her I said it, but Fi's a saint for putting up with you."

"I'm going to make it up to her."

"Good. What sort of present are you thinking..."

And with that Michael and Sam began to work on the particulars of a plan.


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