Wednesday, February 6, 2013

38 Weeks: The Twenty-Seventh Week

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

Week 27:

"Why does Seymour want to meet us?"
"He didn't say over the phone," Fi said to Michael as they sat down at Carlito's.
"Somehow, I don't think this is going to work well with our stay away from explosions plan."
"Probably not, but if there was ever anyone we owe a favor..."
"Yeah, I know. Barry shows up tomorrow with a problem, and we'll go all in for him, too."
"Don't ever tell him I said it, and probably it's just the hormones talking, but that spikey-haired weasel really is growing on me. I almost cried when we opened his wedding present."
Michael shrugs; it was an especially nice gift. After all, who doesn't appreciate twenty thousand in untraceable cash packed in a chafing dish?
 Fi sips her water, and he drinks his iced-tea as Seymour heads toward them.
"Michael, Fi, thanks for..." His voice trails off as his eyes drop to their hands. "You two got married! Destiny. I told you, 'Don't try to fight destiny.' Congratulations."
"Thanks Seymour." Michael says, feeling a little odd seeing Seymour gloating at them. "So, what can we do for you?"
Seymour suddenly looks serious, focused, almost like someone who might be good at multi-national gunrunning. It occurs to Michael that Seymour's crazy exterior might be an act, something he does to keep his enemies underestimating him. Well, maybe it's not entirely an act, but it's not all there is to him, either.
"Remember Jackass?"
"Yes." Michael says feeling cold, sure whatever is going to come next isn't going to be good.
"Okay. Jackass had a girlfriend. She's dead. He's in prison for it."
"And you want our help to... what, break him out?" Michael asks.
"If it comes to that. Look, I know for a fact that Jackass didn't do it because he and I were busy at the time, but what we were doing isn't going to make a good alibi, and will probably involve more prison time that just the murder rap."
"So, why do they think it was him?" Fi wanted to know.
"The girlfriend was married to a CSI."
"Oh." And there was the not good part. Tangling with dirty cops might be fun, but do it too often and you end up burning a lot of bridges.
"Yeah. She was strangled with Jackass's tie. His DNA was all over the place, including inside the knot of the tie, his fingerprints were on her glasses, and since the only people who can confirm he wasn't at her place that night are me and a half-dozen Nigerians..."
"I see. So you want this case to go away," Fi said.
"Or at least make it clear that he's been set up. I've got him a great lawyer, but even the best lawyer on Earth can't fight that much physical evidence. If that evidence were to be thrown out..."
"Do you have anything on this CSI?" Michael asked.
And Seymour did. They spent a few minutes looking over Seymour's files, starting to hash out something of a plan to get the cops looking in the right direction.   
"Excuse me. I'll be back in a minute." Fi stands up.
Watched in real time, what happened next was very fast and resulted in the table tipped over, Seymour kneeling on the floor held in a thumb lock by Michael, and Fi touching his shoulder, saying, "Michael, I'm fine."
The slowed down version went something like this:
Seymour's eyes went wide as he saw Fi stand. She was still moving pretty easily, but there was no missing the fact she was pregnant when she stood up. Seymour said, "Oh my God, Fi you're pre—" while jumping up to hug her. He didn't get to finish that sentence and was very quickly saying, "Ow. Owwwww... Dude, calm down, I was just going to hug her," while Michael holds his thumb on the verge of dislocation.
Michael is aware of the fact that Fi isn't the only one changing because of her pregnancy. Sure, he's not gaining weight or getting clumsy, but he's definitely not the same guy he was six months ago.
And he's really not the same guy he was three months ago.
Pretty much, since Fi's been visibly pregnant, his brain hasn't been as in charge as he'd like it to be. Just like the primal, balls-in-charge sort of sexual attraction he's been feeling toward her lately, the desire to make sure she's safe and protected has lowered his ability to rationally assess threats to her.
So, while it's true that, if you asked him, Michael is completely aware of the fact that Seymour not only isn't a threat, but is probably about to do something nice, but no one is asking him. The fact that Seymour is moving quickly toward Fi and the baby has overridden that awareness and the only thing going on in Mike's mind is stopping the thing that is moving so quickly toward them.
The good thing is there's enough Mike left in this moment that Seymour's in a thumb lock, and not a chokehold.
The other good thing is that he comes back to himself pretty quickly, lets Seymour go, and apologizes while righting the table and looking horribly embarrassed.
"God, you are such a badass," Seymour says as he gets up. He's shaking his left hand, trying to ease the ache in his thumb, and then gently, slowly, keeping his hand a good ten inches away from Fi, holds it towards her stomach, and says, "May I?"
She nods, while Michael picks up glasses and silverware, shaking drops of iced-tea off the files Seymour gave him.  
"This is so cool. I can't believe you two are going to have a baby. It's going to be the baddest badass in the history of badass." The baby picks that moment to kick, and Seymour lights up in a huge grin. He, once again, slowly and completely telegraphing what he's going to do before doing it, leans in and kisses Fi on the cheek. "Congratulations."
Fi leaves for the bathroom. He and Mike sit back down again while a waitress shows up with new drinks, and another one mops up the spilled ones.
"I really am sorry about that."
"No problem. I was insane when my ex was pregnant, too."
"You have a child?"
"Two of them.  Amy is in college at the University of Pennsylvania, and Seth is a senior in high school. He still lives with his mom."
"How do you have two kids?"
Seymour laughs. "The usual way. Got my high school sweetheart pregnant, was married by nineteen, divorced by twenty-three. They're still up north. But I got into this as a way to support them. Turns out I was good at it. But she didn't like me doing it and left."
"Sorry to hear that."
Seymour shakes his head. "We had different destinies. Trying to fight it was futile. She and her new husband are happy. I'm happy with my guns. Just wish I got to see the kids more often."
Michael doesn't know what to say to that. He finishes mopping iced tea off the files. It looks like there wasn't too much damage to the paperwork.
"So, is this CSI dirty in general, or did he just go crazy on Jackass... Seymour, what is his real name? I'm not working on a case where the guy I'm working for is called Jackass."
"Melvin Frohike."
"And now I see why you gave him a nickname."
"Anyway, it looks like he's done a really good job on the chain of evidence on Melvin's problem. But if he's dirty in general, we can probably get IA to start looking into him if there's some evidence of him fixing a case for his own benefit. Once that happens, just about every case he's ever worked on will go under the microscope. And from there we can start to throw some doubt into Melvin's case."
"Why not just do it for Jack—Melvin's case."
"He's a CSI, and he probably has cop buddies. Cop buddies may be willing to turn a blind eye on framing the guy who was fooling around with his wife. They probably won't turn a blind eye if he's been screwing around with the evidence in such a way that might mess up their conviction rates."
Michael grabs his phone. "I'm going to call Sam; he's the one with the cop buddies. Let's see what he's got on this."

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