Insanity doesn't run in my family.
It practically gallops.
Fic - Burn Notice; There's No Going Back 
21st-Mar-2009 10:30 pm
Stock; Swings
Title: There's No Going Back
Author: bergann
Fandom: Burn Notice
Pairing: Michael/Victor preslash
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 2 436
Summary: Trusting your team is absolutely critical if you want to survive. You need to believe that they will correctly read your cues, that they'll risk their lives for you as much as you would for them and to trust them to always have your back.
Warning: Spoilers for the end of season 2, since it goes AU from there.


Trusting your team is absolutely critical if you want to survive. You need to believe that they will correctly read your cues, that they'll risk their lives for you as much as you would for them and to trust them to always have your back. A good team is a team whose success rests as much on the individual members as the leader.

So Michael trusts that when he dumps the rolled-up sheets into the water on his way off the boat, standing still for a moment in front of the helicopter and the armed goons to watch it sink, Sam and Fiona sees it and understands.

None of the men make a move towards the boat once he gets off, and Michael's grin has entirely too much teeth to be friendly. "You're welcome," he tells them, and when one makes a move towards his file after patting him down, he tells them to fuck off, but politely so the words out of his mouth are, "No, this is for the big guy."

Michael steps into the chopper with the same smile. He doesn't look back, doesn't look down, to check if the boat is being left alone.

*


"Michael!" Fiona says in surprise as he stumbles through the gate. "You're back!" Michael's also still dripping wet, which he thinks is why Fiona's hug isn't as tight as it otherwise might be. "Are you alright?"

"Fine," He's exhausted after the swim and soaking and by now, his location has probably been 'leaked' to more than one person who wants him dead, but he could also already be dead. "How is he?"

For a moment, Fiona doesn't answer and Michael has a flash of worry that Management's guys were more thorough in their search than he'd counted on, or that the bullet did more damage than he'd thought it did. "Victor's fine. He's resting in your bed after I had Campbell and his doctor friend come over with some supplies to help and remove the bullet. The doctor said Victor's lucky the bullet didn't do more damage than it did. You can find a way to properly thank me for calling Campbell later. Me and Sam weren't sure what else you wanted us to do with him, so we've left him alone, but Sam's keeping watch just in case he wakes up and gets any ideas."

"Good," Michael says and doesn't protest when Fiona hooks her arm around his waist to help him up the stairs.

"Mikey!" Sam hugs him the minute Fiona helps him through the door, "You look - well, I don't really know what you look like, but you're alive so the look is good on you anyway," and somehow between Sam and Fi he gets half-carried towards one of the kitchen chairs.

Michael explains what happened on the boat and in the chopper, tries to ignore the exhaustion for as long as he can until he catches himself zoning out on what Sam is saying about some friends who might be convinced to help.

"I think I'll hit the sack for a couple of hours."

"Where, Michael?" Fiona asks, "After all, you only have one bed and that's taken."

"My bed's a double and Victor's passed out and he's been shot," Michael points out. "I doubt it'll be a problem."

"What about possible visitors who're hoping to find you drowned?" Sam asks, before Fiona can reply.

"I don't think anyone is going to make a move for a couple of days, but be on alert, just in case."

"Of course, Mike," Sam nods and once Michael's gone to change into something dry, adds softly to Fiona, "Maybe we'll have found Madeline before he wakes up too."

*


Michael wakes a couple of hours after falling asleep to a steady pressure against his windpipe. He doesn't panic, because the press isn't threatening or serious, just sort of curious, and he's not surprised to open his eyes to find out the hand pressing against his throat belongs to Victor.

"You didn't shoot me," Victor says once he notices Michael's eyes are open. He doesn't remove his hand. "You could've shot me, gotten out. Yet here I am, alive and in what looks to be your bed. Why?"

"I don't like killing my allies," Michael says and raises an eyebrow. "Want to remove your hand? I thought our relationship had moved past attempted murder."

"Apparently our relationship has moved well past that considering I woke up to your sleeping face, although at the moment I will have to ask that we postpone whatever other activities you had in mind until I no longer feel like a bullet made friendly with my insides." Victor remarks, but he removes his hand and settles back down on the bed with a pained hiss. "So, what happened?"

"I knocked you out, shoved you into one of the cupboards and wrapped some items in your bed sheets to dump over the side so they wouldn't expect a body." Michael's grin is just a little bit smug and entirely wasted in the dark. "Then I had a nice little chat about my position with the Management and declined the offer."

"They let you live?"

"They let me jump out of the helicopter at ninety feet and swim back to Miami." Michael corrects and adds, "It was also implied they'd be handing out my information out to some people who aren't exactly happy I'm alive."

"So what you're saying is that instead of accepting the Management's offer of going to where the party is, you're bringing the party to us," Victor hums a little under his breath. "I knew I liked you for a reason."

"Well, you're going to like me even more now, because I'm fairly certain I see your pain meds." Michael reaches for them on the table next to the bed. "Now, say please."

Victor's 'please' is a vicious kick to Michael's ankle, but Michael hands them over anyway.

*


The next time he wakes up, Victor is asleep again next to him and the apartment is empty. He feels rested, although various muscles protest loudly that it's too soon to move. He ignores the ache and when he comes back out of the bathroom, he sees Fiona leaning against the railing on the balcony.

He grabs a shirt and a pair of pants, pulls them on quickly before he joins her. "Good morning Michael," Fiona smiles at him over her shoulder.

"How long?"

"Two days," Fiona's eyes flicker down and she raises an eyebrow. "They've been very peaceful. Are you wearing Victor's pants?"

Michael glances down and notices that the pants he's pulled on are jeans and a little too tight. There are also bloodstains. Maybe a bit more out of it than he'd thought, but it's nothing that two days out cold can't explain. He looks back up and shrugs. "So anything happen?"

"You think we'd have let you sleep if anything had?" Fiona laughs. "You'd have shot us yourself. No, nothing's happened. I've been buying some new toys, just in case. Sam's out talking to some friends, asking them to keep an eye out for anything big."

"Good." Michael says, even though he knows most of the attacks - the ones he should worry about - will be silent until they reach Miami. "Victor will probably want some things too, although his can wait until he can actually use them."

Fiona turns to look at him curiously. "So, are you and Victor sleeping together?" Michael stares at her. "I only ask because you were planning to run off to Cuba together and his foot was hooked with yours when I walked past earlier. Not to mention you're wearing his clothes and talking like it's a definite thing that he'll stick around, even now that Carla's dead. I can piece clues together too, Michael."

Michael raises an eyebrow and says, "Exactly where between Victor trying to kill me and him getting shot would we have found time to have sex?"

Fiona shrugs. "I was merely asking, Michael. So what makes you so sure he's gonna stick around?"

Michael shrugs back. "I don't really see Victor settling down nice and quiet anywhere, even with Carla dead."

"No," Fiona sighs, turning around once again. “Spies never do."

Michael stands for a minute, watching her, before he slips silently back into the apartment.

*


"You know, Mike, I can't help but feel that we've got one too many cooks in the kitchen, if you get my drift," Sam says, eyeing Michael across the table to figure out how lightly he should thread. "I mean, it's great that we don't have to worry about him killing you so much anymore, but are you sure you can trust this guy?"

"He hates these people as much as I do," Michael says, not pausing even though someone passes too close to the table. Pausing makes people suspicious. Pausing makes it look like you've got something to hide. "Probably more. You really saying we should send away an ally now, when old acquaintances with scores to settle start making Miami their number one destination?"

"No," Sam draws the word out, not entirety honest with the answer, "But we don't really know the guy. We haven't worked with him before, and after the jobs you and him did together for Carla, you said he was a maniac.

"You, me and Fiona we can defend ourselves just fine, but with Victor, things will get a little bit more uncertain for us. Fiona won't trust him completely in a fight, and neither will I, Mike. We won't want to turn our backs, not completely. I'm just saying, in the situation we'll be finding ourselves in, maybe it's just better if he stays back until we're really sure he's needed. Or proved that we can really trust him."

Michael swallows what's left of his beer, already gesturing for another. "It'll take another couple of weeks before Victor's healed enough to do anything but be a last minute backup piece anyway." He doesn't jump to Victor's defense or ask Sam to give the guy a chance. The thought doesn't even really cross his mind. Sam seems to realize this and nods, eyes gliding away from Michael and after a woman who walks by, hips swaying. "And Sam?"

"Yeah Mike?"

"I never asked you to trust him." Michael points out, because you don't really trust anyone until your entire team does, and you never trust a guy someone says 'it's cool, you can trust him' about.

*


The moneylender Michael's meeting with goes down at the first shot, red soaking his shirt fast. Michael doesn't stick around, gun drawn from his jeans, and it's impossible to tell who fires the next couple of shots. Some hit the ground behind as he runs, as he ducks behind a car. He knows exactly where Sam, Fiona and Victor are holed up which makes it easier for a while until the silence settles over the empty parking lot.

Michael's not fooled, but there's movement from Fiona's position and before he can shout for her to stay still, she steps out.

There's a shot and Fiona doesn't fall, she retreats right back into her position. "Got him," Victor announces cheerfully, a shot echoing around the room and there's another shot from Victor's position before more silence, "Him too."

"See anyone else?" Michael asks, doing what should have been done before Fiona decided to move.

"Seems clear," Sam calls.

Victor shouts, "Think we got them."

"If I'd seen anyone earlier, I wouldn't have moved," Fiona says, and this time she waits until Michael steps forward.

"How's the moneylender?" Sam asks, coming over. Michael glances up and sees Victor and Fiona going over to the bodies of the shooters, checking.

"Dead," Michael answers and Sam only nods, not surprised. It had been a risk they'd been expecting going in - the same reason they didn't ask Barry. Not to mention how Barry will owe Michael for getting rid of the biggest competition.

"They're all dead," Fiona announces as she and Victor approach. "Your friend too."

"Apparently he wanted to see the job getting done," Victor says, his hand hovering a little over his stomach. The bullet wound is not fully healed yet, but it's healed enough for someone in their business to do a quick job, enough for a guy like Victor to have started growing restless.

"We'll need to get out of here," Michael says unnecessarily, because there's no doubt that someone has heard the shots and called the cops. "Back to the apartment. Me and Sam will get food."

"Guess that leaves you and me, Victor," Fiona says, but there's a smile in her voice. "Maybe I can find some way to thank you for saving my life." She smiles brightly at the glare Michael sends her.

Victor laughs as he follows her to her car. "You know," Sam says, watching them go, "I'd have thought you'd protest against that, what with you and Victor sharing a bed for the past couple of weeks and everything."

Michael groans and heads for his own car with only a warning, "Sam."

"No seriously, Mike," Sam insists, sliding into the passenger seat. "You've had weeks and haven't bought a couch or a cot for him to sleep on. The two of you bicker like a couple when you're not flirting through threats of bodily harm. It's cute and something I'd never wish to see, but whatever makes you happy, Mike."

Once they're back in the apartment, Chinese cartons in hand, Sam waits a total of fifteen minutes before he says, "Glad to have you onboard, Victor."

Fiona nods as her chopstick dig into the noodles. "You saved us a lot of back-and-forth with this trap."

Sam and Fiona haven't acted like Victor wasn't intruding on the team the past week, but it was still there in the things they didn't say, and while there's no real change in their tone or words, there's still enough of one.

Victor hears it too, and raises an eyebrow as he asks, "So that's it? I'm part of the magical Team Westen?"

"Maybe," Michael says, not committing to it, but Sam claps Victor on the back and hands him another beer, grin wide and friendly, and Fiona lets him have the last roll.

Victor looks up and smiles at him, knows just as well as Michael that he's in. He's part of the team now, and the flick of his eyes towards the bed isn't a promise or a suggestion.

Not yet.
Comments 
21st-Mar-2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
Great job capturing the rhythms of the show and its narration. And I'm now a total Michael/Victor convert :-)
22nd-Mar-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
22nd-Mar-2009 01:59 am (UTC)
*whimpers* This is how the show should have ended. :D
22nd-Mar-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks :D
22nd-Mar-2009 02:38 am (UTC)
whisper99 recced this fic, and I'm glad I clicked on the link! ♥ ♥
22nd-Mar-2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (also wow that is one thought-derailing icon.)
22nd-Mar-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
(isn't it though?? so simple and yet so... mmm. *g* it's by spacemonkeyluvn)
22nd-Mar-2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Simple is good :D
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Mar-2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it all worked outside of my head. Victor, I think, really got it right when he told Michael he looked like someone who needed a partner. ;)
22nd-Mar-2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
Yep, I'm here thanks to Whisper, too. Very nice balance between the surface Crazy Victor and what may be underneath. He does seem to fit well with Team Westen and it is a shame that we don't really get more of that Michael/Victor stuff on the screen. Thanks for bringing it to life in your fic
22nd-Mar-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D

He did fit in so well! I mean, Sam, Fiona and Michael work great together - but it's really more of Michael working alone and Sam and Fiona being partners in backup, in my opinion anyway. Victor would've fit right in with helping Michael.
22nd-Mar-2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
Whisper rec :)

A very satisfying alternate ending to that epiosde, thank you.
22nd-Mar-2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D
30th-Mar-2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed this!
31st-Mar-2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
I'm glad, thank you :D
25th-Jun-2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I love this! I was so happy to see Michael Shanks on Burn Notice, then sad when he died. So this story is equally great for me, well written slashy goodness and and two Michael's (Shanks and Westen) lol. Off to read more. Wouldn't happen to want to start an AU version of season 3 with these 2 would you? =P
27th-Jun-2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D And I would love to do that, except I am awful at keeping myself commited to series, so it'd just end up dying and disappointing. :P

Michael Shanks was so great on Burn Notice! Even though I knew he wouldn't last that long, the end episode was still heartbreaking. What I'm really looking forward to now is when the actor Michael Weston joins the show. That'll confuse some people who aren't entirely certain about the character's last name :P
2nd-Jul-2009 07:28 pm (UTC) - rambles
So...I'm watching the BN marathon, and it occurs to me 'this show has to have some great fanfiction'. And then it occurs to me there has to be slash fic, so I use google-fu and find your name.

And I like this. It's got a sort of nice, straight forward feeling to it, and it follows the feel of the show well too.
5th-Jul-2009 01:30 pm (UTC) - Re: rambles
Thank you! :D
10th-Jul-2009 12:08 am (UTC)
So good. I love the way you've written Victor here - just like I hoped he'd be if he'd been given a chance to NOT be the psycho we met.

Also, love that everyone is giving Michael grief about the sleeping arrangements. :D
10th-Jul-2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
Hee! I can't help but think that psycho!Victor is just something he does to throw people off (make them uncertain about what his moves will be, how he'll react) and for his own amusement. I mean, there were a few brief glimpses in the last ep that he wasn't 100% psycho.

Thank you! :D
10th-Jul-2009 08:53 am (UTC)
My only very teensy-weensy-itsy-bitsy problem with this universe you've created? I never expected Fiona Glenanne to give up Michael without a fight involving enough ordinance for a tank batallion.

Other than that... *deep breath* SQUEEEEEEE! I love it, I love you, all the voices and interactions and everything are just so perfect and I so want more!
10th-Jul-2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
See, I think it all depends on the person. If it was just some skank that Michael fancied, she'd definitely start an unholy fuss and make the person back the hell away. But no matter how much the show tries to press the whole "Michael and Fiona are destined to be together, Michael's just a stubborn idiot" angle, I can't help but think that any real spark they had between them is gone. I always feel like they're clinging to the memory of what was once between them, and I think that if Fiona saw Michael look at Victor in a certain way - like 'he used to look at me that way too' - then she wouldn't fight as much. Make Victor's life a little hellish, sure, but I think in the end she'd back off.

Thank you! :D I definitely do want to write more, I'm just waiting for a new idea to hit. ;)
3rd-Jun-2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Wow! This was fantastic! You've got not only the narrative voice down, but all of the characters too! This was wonderful! I'm off to read the subsequent sequels now. :)
6th-Jun-2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
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