Fandom: Burn Notice
Characters: Michael, Fiona, Sam (Gen)
Summary: Beware of Greeks bearing job offers…
Author's notes: My Yuletide story for scifishipper, who loves the interplay between these characters as much as I do.
Costas Kyriakis seemed like any other client. He'd made something, had it stolen, and then hired Michael to get it back. But as was often the case, the truth would turn out to be more complicated than it first appeared.
Michael was looking at the information Kyriakis had provided. He spread the pictures and documents out across the counter and reviewed each page in turn. Sam nosed around the kitchen.
"So this guy came to us courtesy of Barry?" Sam said. "Geez, what part of that seemed like a good idea?"
"Barry's done us a few favors over the years," Michael said. He picked up a diagram and held it up to the light. "It's good to even out the score once in awhile."
"You know the kind of people Barry works for." Sam pulled a beer out of the fridge and opened it. "Ten to one says there's something wrong with this Kyriakis guy."
Fiona came in through the front door, her arms laden with shopping bags. She looked at the array of paperwork. "What's this?"
"Ehh, Michael's trying to let Barry Burkowski get us killed again," Sam said.
"Will you stop?" Michael said. "It's not that bad."
Fiona laid the bags against the wall and came over for a closer look. "What does the little weasel want now?'
"He wants us to help one of his clients."
"Hey, is this a paid gig?" Sam asked.
"Yes. The client is offering seventy-five thousand dollars for the return of his technology."
"Sweet!" Sam said. He saluted Michael with his beer. "Finally, we're getting paid with something besides Scooby Snacks."
Fiona arched an eyebrow at him. "You're a kept man. What do you care?"
"It's the principle of the thing," Sam said. "We're professionals, after all…"
Fiona picked up one of the documents and looked at it. "Well, this certainly has military potential. What are we doing with it?"
"Stealing it back for the client," Michael said.
"Smash-and-grab, jewel thief, or hostage extraction?" Fiona asked.
"Still working that out," Michael said. "We'll know better after we check out its current location."
Sam gestured with his beer bottle. "I'm on it."
Fiona skimmed through the rest of the file. "How much do we really know about the client?"
"Not much more than what he's told us," Michael said. "This job is only a couple of hours old."
"I'll see what I can dig up, then." Fiona looked over at him. "And what will you be doing?"
Michael's cell phone rang. He checked the display and rolled his eyes. "Hi, Mom..."
So much for that question.
Sam stood in the shadows at a city park, surveying an 18-story building across the way. Twenty-four-hour security, according to the listing for one of the vacant offices. The device was in one of the windowless interior rooms on the 16th floor, which just about figured. Annoying, but not insurmountable.
What would Chuck Finley do? Sam asked himself. Sometimes he asked what Fiona would do, but the answer here was obvious: blow things up to create a distraction, then more explosions to get through doors and walls until they'd reached the object of their mission. Too conspicuous for their needs here, so Sam kept on thinking. He decided that Chuck Finley would go with his usual solution, and try to charm his way through.
He went back to the car for his navy windbreaker and a polo shirt. Bad day to be wearing his Aloha ensemble, but hey—that was how he dressed, and when he’d left the house that morning there’d been nothing on his calendar but the hope of a lazy afternoon and a long lineup of fresh mojitos. After changing his clothes, he walked over to the office building and into the lobby, business card in hand.
"Hi, I'm Chuck Finley—Personal Financial Consultant. I was thinking about renting one of your offices. Think I could get a tour?"
Fiona had finished digging up information via the computer, and was now at the County Records office.
"Hello, Chip," she greeted one of the employees in a voice that was practically a purr.
"M-Miss Kennedy, how are you?" he answered.
"Just fine." She gave him one of her warmest, most personal smiles. "I have some business holdings to look up. Do you have a moment?"
"Sure, Miss K-Kennedy," he said. "Any time!"
Chip not only knew where information was located, he also had a knack for finding things that weren't where they belonged. Half an hour later, Fiona had both the official and the not-yet-processed records on Kyriakis' holdings. Chip, she decided, was about due to receive another fruit basket.
When Michael returned to the loft, Fiona and Sam were already there, discussing the finer points of something sketched out on a piece of paper.
"Is everything all right at your mother's?" Fiona asked.
"Oh, yeah," Michael said. He went to the fridge and took out a blueberry yogurt, noticing that there were only a few left. "She wanted me to drag a gigantic box down from the attic."
"Huh," said Sam, who knew both Madeline and mothers in general. "In a few days, she'll probably want you to come over again and put it back."
Michael nodded. "No doubt. So, what have we got?"
Sam tapped the piece of paper. "We have got a plan."
"This is way too many people for a mission like this," Michael said. "Why do we need more than just Ops and lookout?"
Fiona finished picking the lock on the side door. "So we only have to do this once." The three of them slipped into the building and worked their way upstairs.
Sixteen floors was a long climb, but the stairwells were unmonitored. "This place really ought to have better security," Michael muttered.
"Yeah?" Sam strained for air behind him. "Be glad it doesn't."
They went on up, and quietly entered the target floor. Moving around to the rear of the floor's central office, Fiona put C-4 up around the edges of the door frame and quietly set it off. Clean, elegant, and thorough, as long as you didn't mind a little dust.
Sam waited as lookout just inside the door while Michael and Fiona began searching for Kyriakis' documents. Someone inside the office suddenly came around the corner, perhaps looking for the source of the noise. Michael and Fiona froze.
The man looked at their all-black clothing and sighed. "Kyriakis sent you."
"Excuse me?" Michael said.
The guy just shook his head. "Unbelievable. You're the second team this week. At least the security guards caught the first one."
"Huh," Sam said.
Fiona frowned. "You should really demand a refund on your rent."
"So much for that paycheck," Sam grumbled in the car on the way back to Michael's place.
"The question is, what are we going to do about Kyriakis?" Michael said.
Fiona shrugged. "Stealing other people's inventions and claiming they're his own… I doubt there's much we can do."
Michael smiled unpleasantly as he overtook a semi and prepared to turn off onto a bridge. "I'm pretty sure we can make him sorry…"
Three days later, Sam put on a suit and tie and paid a visit to Kyriakis' main office. "Charles Finley here to see Mr. Kyriakis," he told the receptionist.
"Regarding?" she prompted.
"Atlantic Intellectual Property Investigations," he said.
For sheer details, Sam was armed to the teeth. The business holdings Fiona had brought back from the Records Office were a crumb-trail of all the prior ideas and inventions Kyriakis had plundered. A couple of days of computer searches and poking around had led Fiona, Sam, and Michael to a succession of prior victims, all of whom were furious.
Michael had already met Kyriakis, so he was blown. The glory was all Fiona's, but Sam by far had the most extensive documentation and comfort with his favorite alternate identity. Over the years, Chuck Findley had been anyone and everyone.
Today, he was an agent of revenge.
Sam pushed past the receptionist and headed straight for Kyriakis' office. "No, don't get up," he said, stepping inside and shutting the door. "We have a lot to talk about."
Kyriakis was shorter than Sam had expected, but no less intense. Small and wiry, he hardly paused for breath before yelling, "Get out of my office!"
"Your office, yes," Sam said. "One of your many, many offices. You have your hand in a lot of pies, Mr. Kyriakis, and I can't help noticing that some of those pies belong to other people."
"What?" Kyriakis seemed confused.
"Ideas, inventions, methodologies," Sam said. "I'll give you credit, you know when something's worth stealing."
Kyriakis reached for intercom button on his phone. "Security to my office, immediately!"
"Oh, I don't think you want to do that." Sam said. He pulled a sheaf of papers out of a binder. "You see, our offices have uncovered a whole bunch of people you've stolen from, and they all want your head on a platter. You've made quite a bit of money off of their brainpower and talents. But some of them admire the way you've put their ideas in motion, and they'd be happy with a share of past and future profits as well as the return of their property."
Kyriakis opened his mouth to speak, but Sam continued on.
"Because the alternative is to get the Feds involved. With a pattern like this, you'll do serious jail time, and I'm betting even a federal prison is just a little too much realism for you."
Two men with guns burst through the door, but Kyriakis held up his hand and kept looking at Sam. "Are you saying that the… affected parties… might agree to a deal?"
Sam grinned. "That's exactly what I'm saying."
"So, all the people Kyriakis ripped off will get compensated. But where's his punishment? All he's losing is money," Fiona said.
Sam tilted his mojito toward her. "For now. I never said he'd go unreported forever. I'll give him a couple of months."
"Too bad about the money," Michael said. "The loft may not look like much, but I still have to pay rent."
"True," Fiona said wistfully. She turned to Sam. "What would you have spent the money on?"
Sam smiled softly. "I was thinking of a private vacation for me and my lady. It'd be nice to treat her for change."
"What would you have done with it, Fi?" Michael asked.
"No wait, don't tell me," Sam broke in. "Shoes."
Fiona bristled. "If I want to spend my money on footwear, or cars, or—" she lowered her voice, "armaments, it's my money to spend!"
"Hey, sister, whatever floats your boat."
"Sam…" Michael said. Fiona sipped her Bloody Mary and stared pointedly off over Sam's shoulder.
"All right then," Sam said, "what are you not spending the money on?"
Michael thought for moment, and slowly smiled as he understood. "Retirement," he said.
Fiona looked at Michael, and relented. "Nursing school," she offered.
Sam nodded in agreement—those were both good thing to avoid.
"What about you?" Michael asked. "What's your non-ambition?"
Sam took in the two of them with a grin.
"Moving to New York or L.A. and starting all over again."
----- fin -----