Saturday, December 22, 2012

38 Weeks: The Fourteenth Week

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A/N: Burn Notice romantic fluff with a side of angst. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Week Fourteen:

The good thing about Fi feeling better is that she's feeling better. She's up and about and moving around and the fear that Michael feels when he sees her lying around looking sick and uninterested in everything has vanished.
The bad thing about Fi feeling better, and being up and about and doing things is that she wants to be doing jobs, which has created an entirely new fear for Michael.
He's never relished the idea of Fi in danger. Granted his idea of 'in danger' is a few hundred degrees higher than anyone else's, but still, when his spidey-senses tingle about a job being a problem, he doesn't want her near it.
This generally does not lead to fun conversations between them, and he usually regrets trying to keep her away from the dangerous stuff, because as she's pointed out, by saving his ass, repeatedly, if there's danger to be had, he's much better off with her as back-up.
But this is different. There's the sensation he feels when she's in danger, and it's cold and horrible and he hates it, but this is... deeper, primal. It's his balls trying to crawl deep into his body and hide while ice shoots down his spine and his eyes want to close and escape from the truth of it. He doesn't think he's ever been scared motionless before, but, right now, while Fi hits the accelerator and they speed toward the Keys at close to 130 miles an hour, needing to get a site set before Sam gets there, he's awfully close.
The good thing about being scared motionless is that he's not going to distract her. Rationally, he knows she's a better driver than he is. Rationally, he knows they're safe. It's almost 2:00 in the morning, so there's no other traffic on the road. But he can feel the vibrations of the car, feel the light cross breeze off the ocean, and he's very aware they're on an extremely long bridge with no margin for error if anything goes wrong. It's dark, so he can't see the ocean next to them, but he knows it's there, cold and black, and waiting for the wind to pick up a little or for a bump in the road to hit the tire, or just something to go wrong.
Apparently he's sitting in the passenger seat, clutching the arm rests, with his eyes closed.
"Michael, are you okay?"
He might be scared stiff, but he's not scared stupid. Now is really not a good time to be arguing about keeping her out of danger.
"Fine, Fi."
"You don't look fine."
He manages a smile at her. "Fine, really."
"When did you become such a bad liar?"
"Could we maybe do this when you're not driving us at 130 miles an hour through the dark to go set up a fake drug smuggling operation for Sam?"
"Are you scared?"
"Do I sound scared?"
He forces his fingers to let go of the armrests. "I wish we had some real coke to sell this deal. Sam's gonna be in a lot of trouble if they notice all he's got to sell is fifty kilos of baking soda."
"If it gets to that point, we'll get him out, and move onto plan B."
"You've got a plan B?" This is better, talking tactics relaxes him, moves his focus.
"Bring in Jesse to play the coke dealer that's screwed Sam?"
"No. Chuck Finley's the sort of man who would have tested the coke before taking it...  Bring in Jesse as the 'loyal' employee who's stealing from him?"
"Better yet, if they move to test it, we'll have a distraction ready to go, spring it on them, and they'll run. Do you think you can get something that'll sound like a fake DEA raid ready to go in the background?"
"Fi, just getting this set is going to be awfully close."
"Rival gang?"
He thinks about it as she downshifts and exits toward the warehouse they're heading to.
"I can get something that'll look like a rival gang set up." 


Hours later, as they're driving, sedately, him at the wheel, home from what was a successful "cocaine" buy, one that would soon cause Carlos Riveira's boss to become deeply unhappy about the fact that he just spent a million dollars on baking soda. That buy will, at best, get Carlos sent back to Venezuela, and at worst, killed, but either way he was no longer going to be stalking Sam's client, sending her dead doves.
"You want to tell me why you were upset?" Fi asks.
"Trying to pass off baking soda as cocaine is stressful."
"Really, Michael? Stressful?"
"It was."
"Uh huh." He always finds it vaguely disturbing when she responds to him the way his mom does. He just lets it lie, not saying anything, but he knows what she's expecting him to say next. She's got her 'cut the bullshit' look on her face, and at this point he can argue with her about being overprotective, or he can argue about lying, but either way, there's a fight coming up.
"You're pregnant."
"I had noticed that. The weeks of vomiting tipped me off." She's still giving him the keep talking look.
"Since Nate died, you in danger drives me crazy. You and our baby in danger makes it worse."
"You thought that was danger?" She can't believe he'd be worried about a job that easy. And he honestly feels a little stupid for it, now that the danger is passed.
"No. I didn't think it was danger. But my brain doesn't appear to be giving the orders about what constitutes danger right now."
She smiles at him, which he wasn't expecting at all. "That's sweet."
"You concerned about us, yeah? As long as you can keep it under control and don't do anything stupid, it'll stay sweet. Get over-protective and try to keep me out of it, and it won't be sweet, then it'll be annoying."
"So, you're enjoying me sitting here, fearing for your life, and doing nothing about it?"
"Yes." She smiles brightly at him. "Remember back when you thought you might be getting back into the CIA and I told you that if you had to survive based on your understanding of relationships you'd be dead in ten seconds?"
"Sort of."
"It wasn't that I didn't want you working for the CIA, which I didn't, it was that I wanted you to pick me over the CIA. Same thing here, I want you to be concerned, but I want you to pick my happiness over your comfort."
"Okay..." Sometimes, life is a lot easier without women in it.

This was just too cute not to post.

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