scripted_sra: Mike, Sam, and Fi, in suits, standing and looking badass. (Default)
Sara ([personal profile] scripted_sra) wrote2013-02-03 10:55 pm

Burn Notice | A Dream In Black and White | PG-13 | Gen-ish

Title: A Dream In Black and White
Fandom: Burn Notice
Rating: PG-13
Warning: References to minor character death.
Pairing: Frank/Madeline and technically Larry/Michael by default.
Summary: Madeline Westen knows more than she ever lets on.
Word Count: 600
Disclaimer: All copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. This work is not created for profit and constitutes fair use.
A/N: Part of my dark!Michael 'verse. Thanks to Kelly for beta'ing. Title comes from the song "Unknown Soldier" by Breaking Benjamin. Also for [community profile] trope_bingo, free space, using the trope "presumed dead."


It doesn’t feel real.

When Madeline answers the phone, it’s just another long, exhausting day, trying not to get in Frank’s way, tons of tiny little irritants biting sharply at the back of her mind.

“Madeline Westen? I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” begins the person on the other end of the phone, and as he continues, the world around her fades into the background, washed out and grey. She barely registers the sound of the phone clanging against the wall, dimly recognizing that it’s fallen from her hand.

Her son is dead.

It just doesn’t feel real.

---


She doesn’t admit it to anyone, but months, even a year later, she isn’t always sure she believes it.

As far as everyone else is concerned, she’s the typical grieving mother, going through the healing process like normal. But occasionally, every so often, she sits up at night and stares out the window, and she wonders.

She’d always doubted those mothers who claimed to just know when their kids were hurt or in trouble or needed them, had always dismissed it as an overactive maternal instinct or imagination.

Yet here she is, sometimes, so brightly certain that Michael is alive.

---


The man doesn’t act much like any other Jehovah’s Witness she’s ever met. They’re typically politely pushy, and oblivious in a well-meaning way, but he isn’t. He seems like he can read people, like he can read her.

It doesn’t really matter, though. She wants someone to talk to who isn’t Frank, who isn’t either bitter or sullen or angry for no reason.

She doesn’t trust him, even though he doesn’t ask for money and makes no excuses to be left alone. She does enjoy their conversation.

Still, something is off. She just can’t place her finger on exactly what.

---


When Frank doesn’t come home from the bar a few nights later, she doesn’t worry. She doesn’t call the police. This is nothing new, him sleeping off a drunken stupor wherever is convenient. She expects him to drag himself home within the next couple of days.

When those couple of days stretch into a week, she does call the cops, because otherwise it would be suspicious.

At first, they think what she had; then, they gently tiptoe around the suggestion that he’s just up and left.

Madeline isn’t an idiot. She’s already considered that. It just doesn’t seem like Frank.

---


A month after Frank’s disappearance, a detective shows up on her doorstep. “We’ve found his car, ma’am,” he says. “It was abandoned—carefully hidden at a large marina. We only stumbled across it because of an unrelated break-in.” He speaks in measured tones. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” he continues, “but we now believe he might have been murdered.”

She chokes up, because she’s expected to choke up, even though, if she’s honest, she’s only feeling a strange sort of relief. She did love him once, but that love has long since become a faded, distant memory.

---


The detective asks her if she can remember anything unusual around the time of Frank’s disappearance.

She thinks about the strange man with the easy smile and the too-genuinely kind eyes who was almost definitely not a Jehovah’s Witness. She thinks about who would have a motive to kill Frank.

The answer is immediate: anyone related to him.

Madeline gives the detective a watery frown. “Nothing, there’s nothing,” she says, swallowing. “I’m sorry. I wish I could be more help.”

He nods gently, gives her his card, and leaves.

As she throws it away, she wonders where Michael is now.

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