Disclaimer: Not mine. Never will be. Sigh.

A/N: I am really not a writer, so bear with me. This is written in one of my favorite styles to read, but hardest to write. Oh, and it's also unbeta'd. Enjoy!

You know that you're in a bad way, when you can't even look at her anymore for the fear that she won't be looking back at you. And the worst part, you're not entirely sure how it got like this. Looking back it seemed that one day you were curled around her in every way possible – awake, asleep, in bed, in life, and the next….this. More specifically him. Him.

You know you've disappointed her….again. And when it comes to the two of you, it's hard to remember a time when you didn't disappoint her. But after Campbell, you thought you had both moved past this. You knew you'd never be enough for her. You'd never be able to give her what she wanted, what she needed. And you knew that she knew that, as well. But for awhile it was ok.

You were always an "eye on the prize" kind of guy, constantly driven to your goal. In that way, being burned was almost nice. There was so much to do and so many moves to make. Always moving - sometimes forward, sometimes back and, to be honest, most of the time sideways. But still always moving.

Moving was good. It meant action. Action meant not thinking. Thinking inevitably led to reflection of some sort and although you've always considered yourself self-aware, you are not the kind of guy to look for all of your past mistakes and swear never to make them again. Because when it comes down to it, if the situation called for it, you would. But you can't help but think that maybe if you were the reflecting kind of guy, this never would have happened. You would have been able to stop this.

She'd been gone for nearly six months (though you swore you'd never let it get that far). Sure she still showed up for a couple of meetings here or there – but she never stayed for lunch anymore. She still helped with creative incendiary devices – but never at the loft. Never with you. She still provided tactical support – but only when you told her how desperately you needed her kind of support. And then she would take the money that she had earned from the job and disappear. She had been gone in every other aspect of your life for longer than you could remember– all of the ones that mattered.

You never knew that people could mean so much to someone and so you really can't be blamed for mishandling the situation the way that you did. You thought you knew her better than anyone you'd ever known. But you must have been wrong. Otherwise you would have predicted what she did next. More than that. You would have prevented it.

In the end, it was your mother that broke the news to you, which almost hurt more than the news itself. "Michael…" she said in between puffs of what had to be her fifth cigarette since you walked in the door 15 minutes ago. You recognized that tone. The one that she had used whenever your father had decided to disappear yet again - like you'd feel upset instead of overjoyed. "She's getting married."

You realize that you had zoned out while she was talking – as you habitually did, but those words snapped you to attention like your father's fist across your face. You must have looked as shocked as you felt because she repeated the words again, only this time more slowly (each word like a knife wound to your heart). "Fiona and Michael are getting married."

Ah yes, the ultimate "fuck you" from the universe… His name was Michael. You shared the same name as this asshole. ..and apparently the same taste in women.

And so that is the story of how your world had started to fall apart. The "big news" spread and you instantly became numb – even more so than usual. You took fewer jobs, you stopped talking to friends – they were assets now anyway, not friends, not anymore. You finally were on your way to becoming the lone operative that you always thought you would be. The only thing that mattered to you now was the burn notice. It was as it should be.

"She doesn't love him, you know." It was your mother. She walked across the loft to the balcony and lit another cigarette using the butt of the one she had just finished smoking. You don't remember inviting her in but there she was anyway, looking at you like she was waiting for you do say something, do something, anything. But you just sat there in your green chair, blinking, staring. "She loves you. She always has." More blinking, more staring.

The slap came seemingly out of nowhere and you find yourself holding your cheek just below your eye when you feel the first trace of a tear trickling down onto your hand. Your tear. "God Damn it, Michael! I thought you were a Goddamn soldier! I thought that you fought for the innocent! I thought you gave a shit about people! But I guess you don't care about anyone but yourself. You're just like your father…"

What is it about mothers that can build you up like you're some kind of damn Superman complete with the cape, and then cut you down with all of the efficiency and coldness of a trained assassin?

You took a breath, then, perhaps for the first time in months. Your mother had gone already. Probably stormed out. But you, you could breathe again.

When you got to her house, you walked right in like you owned the place – and really in your mind she was yours, and so by proxy, so was her house. She was standing at her back door with her forehead pressed up against the glass, looking out. At what? Well, you're not sure and frankly you don't really care. That's not why you came. She turned slowly to look at you, wiping her eyes like you didn't already know she was crying. She was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. You continued walking towards her. Stalking, really, because there was something about this - this situation, this woman, that made you feel absolutely predatory. And you loved it.

You kissed her the second that you could reach her, one of your hands encircling her wrists like handcuffs, the other at the back of her head making her feel everything that you poured into this. She fought to get away out of instinct, but then almost immediately fought to get closer. And still you kissed her. Forever.

"I broke things off with him, Michael. He's gone." She looked up at you with those big beautiful eyes and your heart was quite literally pounding. She must have seen the question in your eyes so she answered it before you could tell her that you didn't care what the answer was, only that he was gone and she was yours. "Like you said, you can't marry someone when you're in love with someone else."

And you never loved someone more than you loved this tiny explosion of a woman. And so that is what you told her.