Series: Doctor Who / Burn Notice
Warnings/Notes: character semi-death
Characters: Michael Weston
Summary: She wasn't exactly who Michael had been expecting. But she was the one behind the burn.
Parked in the truck, Michael could feel them moving... fifty yards. a hundred yards. And an abrupt stop. One hundred forty yards, he thought just as the OnStar system went ding. It would seem that we've arrived, as he stepped out from his car. As the door-and-ramp lowered, exposing Michael to air that completely lacked the distinctiveness of sea air. We didn't go that far. He was sure of it.
"Come now, Michael," he was told by a woman outside the truck. Not the one on the phone, unless there had been voice disguising technology at work. "I'm waiting."
"Who are you?" Michael asked, using his disinterested-and-only-asking-out-of-pol
A chuckle. "The last time I was in the neighborhood, I went by the name Susan Foreman."
"And since then?" standing at the top of the ramp, looking out at the dark room that this truck had parked itself within.
"Since then, I've been fighting a war. I've been the Foreman for much of it, mostly from how well I know the enemy."
"And who is the enemy?" Russians? Al Qaeda? North Korea? Columbia?
"A race you have not yet met."
A door swung open in the wall.
"And now what?"
A chuckle. "You came all this way to learn why you were burned, Michael Westen. Are you backing away only now?"
"I selected you because you've demonstrated an ability to think for yourself. Thus what point would there be to me answering for you?"
"Good question. You have an answer, or do you just like throwing out profound-sounding zingers?"
"I don't do zingers, Mr. Westen. They're a waste of time."
"Then tell me - why was I burned?"
"To help who?"
"I do not exaggerate when I say the universe, all of existance, past and present and future, and your planet."
"Riight, because there's no way that could be an exaggeration."
"I understand how you feel, Michael, and I sympathize. I myself was burned. My grandfather locked me out and abandoned me in the ruins of a war zone after we had worked together to defeat the ones who had invaded Earth."
"Earth hasn't been invaded. It can't be."
"It has been, and will be again. The war zone I speak of, was in the 22nd Century.
"Now then. Now that I've answered so much of your questions, I trust you can step inside?"
"I suppose," and casually headed down the ramp and towards the door. No rush, no hurry; just a perfectly normal walk.
When he got to the door, he looked inside, saw a bank of computer keyboards ringed around some sort of crystaline growth. Some pads had only a few keys on them, others had more than a keypad should - and Michael'd seen a lot of keyboards in his life. And a lone figure in a robe, standing to one side of the ring; the robe looked more like a sari than a burkha. "And you're the woman who burned me?"
She turned, and Michael could see that she'd been literally burned...bits of skin and muscle charred and damaged; part of her nose was missing. "I am. Susan Foreman."
"Michael Westen." But you already know that. "So, again, why me?"
One-handed, she tapped in a command on the nearest board. Between her and him, there appeared a life-sized hologram of a conical machine. "This is a Dalek. They tried and failed to conquer Earth in the near future. They are the race my people are at war with."
"Your people," Michael repeated as the door behind him closed.
"Yes. My people. The Time Lords."
"If you're lords of time, why do you need my help?"
"Part of the Wartime Stipulations Agreement," Susan said. "It was one of the restraints both sides could agree upon. It stipulates that neither party may recruit, create, or shanghai any species, civilization, or social unit to fight for them. However, the Agreement does not forbid the hiring of individuals."
"And you picked me."
"You're good at what you do. For a human, you're clever. And because you remind me of a man I used to know." Ian Chesterton.
"I'm sorry, but fighting aliens isn't my thing." And I really don't like being selected for something just because I remind someone of someone else.
Susan nodded, tapped one button. "Then leave. The doors are behind you."
Michael turned around, and saw a row of doors. "Nice trick."
As much of a wry smile as her face could allow, "You haven't seen it yet."
Michael returned to the door he'd passed through, opened it by hand - and saw an empty room...one big enough for a rugby match. Shut that door, tried the next one over...to the same result. And the next one, and so on, until Michael had looked through every door the room had to offer. Turning back to face Susan, "Where is it?"
"The truck and your car?" she asked innocently.
"Yes, the truck and my car. Where are they?"
"They haven't moved."
"Clearly they have."
"No, they haven't. I simply rearranged the doors."
"A door can only connect two rooms - three if its a T-junction doorway."
"Given what your people know of physics," Susan nodded, "that's true. But it doesn't apply here.
"You made your decision with disbelief in your voice. You refused to help, while not believing any of it was real. Now that I have your attention, now that you acknowledge that this is true, you may accept or reject freely."
Michael opened his mouth, and a wave of - somethingorother, clear and oceanic and fast - raced from one end of the room to the other, causing parts of the crystal to send up a small shower of sparks, and to utterly change the expression on Susan's face. "No," Susan said when the wave was gone. "Leave me."
"The war is over, it seems. That is what just happened - an act of destruction which ended the Time War. You have my apologies, Michael; had I known the war would be over before I could convince you, I would not have had you burned." She sighed. "We're not far from where you live, right now, Michael Westen. The right door will open...when I am dead."
"I'm not going to kill you," Michael said.
"Then we are, it seems, at an impasse."
"You could just let me go. I mean, if I'm no longer the guy you want for the job that's gone up in smoke, you don't need to hold me here."
"True, I could. But I want to make a fresh start of things, and I can't do that as I am. My present body, my current personality...I'm too dedicated to fighting, and with the war over...I need to reincarnate."
"I'm not exactly a big believer in that." Or in much of anything else.
"I am; by necessity, and by design." Another attempt at a smile. "Michael, my people can live for centuries in a body. You, on the other hand, can't go a year without water. If you want to leave, you know what you have to do."
"I know, I know. Tell you what, why don't we start over?"
That is exactly what I'm trying to do. "Go on."
"Hi," holding out a hand for a handshake, taking small, slow steps towards her. "I'm Michael Westen."
"Good afternoon, Mr. Westen. My name is Susan Foreman," offering her own hand. "I hear you used to be a spy."
"Word travels fast," Michael said, then, as their hands touched, he yanked her to him, and squeezed her throat just so, and let her drop to the floor. "That's not enough to kill a person," he said as he stepped back.
The door opened, confirming his hunch that paralyzing her would work just as well as killing her. Outside, there was the beachside properties of Miami.
When he reached the door, he looked back, and rubbed at his eyes, since he could have sworn he was seeing Susan Foreman's body blurring and overlapping with - with what? Her face superimposed and was replaced by another face, and the same with her hands.
"Then you didn't hear a word I said," she said, once more breathing again. Black-haired and skin undamaged by heat, much less by fire. She blinked, then winked at him. "Fare thee well, Michael," she said, and toggled a switch. "Maybehaps we'll see each other again." The doorway flickered, and Michael saw that they were atop his apartment.
Author's note: in my personal fandom, Time Lords can't sense the existence of their relatives.