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Fic: Shooting Trouble

Title: Shooting Trouble
By PaBurke
Spoilers: Season 5 Burn Notice, future fic (fluff)
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.
Summary:Charlie’s uncle is different from everyone else’s. This is not a bad thing.


Charlie’s earliest memory concerning his Uncle Mike was his father saying, “I know he doesn’t smile a lot, but your Uncle Mike loves you. If you ever, ever, ever get into any trouble, you call your Uncle Mike first, before you call me or your mom or your grandma, you call Uncle Mike. Your Uncle Mike can fix any problem or tell you how to fix the problem. Uncle Mike protected me the entire time we were kids, he’ll protect you too.” Up until that point, Uncle Mike had only been a dark, scary guy that was there part of the time.

So every day after school, Charlie would call Uncle Mike and tell him what problems happened that day. Uncle Mike didn’t always answer the phone, but he always called back. Most of the time, Uncle Mike would just listen to Charlie. That helped. Sometimes he suggested crazy stuff. If Charlie did it, it turned out okay. If he didn’t, things got worse and then Uncle Mike would have to suggest a bigger solution to the problem. Uncle Mike always asked how the situation turned out and he always knew when Charlie was lying.

Uncle Mike was scary when people lied to him. Or well, scarier than normal. Charlie only lied to him once… a year. (His dad said that Charlie was just like him and needed to learn a lesson over and over.)

When Charlie was eight, Emily said that it was stupid for him to tell his uncle all of his problems. He was old enough to take care of himself. So Charlie went home after school and sat in front of the phone and debated whether or not Emily was right. What if Uncle Mike thought he was stupid because he needed his uncle’s opinion on everything? Uncle Mike was always busy. What if Uncle Mike had better things to do than listen to Charlie whine? What if…?

The phone rang.

Charlie blinked in surprise. The phone rang a second time. Charlie took a deep breath and picked up the phone. “Westen residence,” he said.

“Charlie, what’s wrong?” It was his Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike always waited for Charlie to call him, he never called Charlie. “Charlie? Are you hurt?”

“No,” Charlie blurted. “I’m not hurt. I… ah.”

“Charlie? You missed your scheduled check-in. What’s wrong?”

“Emily said I was stupid for calling you every day.”

Uncle Mike didn’t speak immediately, but Charlie was somewhat used to the silence. Charlie’s teachers always wanted him to think before speaking but Uncle Mike was the only person Charlie knew who practiced that. “Do you like calling me everyday?” he asked.

Charlie didn’t need to think about that. “Yes.”

“I like you calling everyday,” Uncle Mike told him. “So if you like calling me everyday and I like you calling everyday, than what does it matter?”

“I don’t want to be a baby, making you solve all of my problems,” Charlie whispered.

“Charlie, do you know what I do for work?”

Charlie admitted, “Not really. Dad says that you’re the best. You and Aunt Fi and Uncle Sam are all troubleshooters. I don’t understand that. Trouble is trouble. Why do you shoot at it? And does it shoot back?”

Uncle Mike huffed and Charlie grinned as he realized that he made his uncle laugh. “Troubleshooter is an old way of saying problem-solver. People hire me to solve their problems. Adult people. You never stop needing help, no matter how grown-up you get.”

“So should I be paying you?” Charlie was suddenly worried about a totally different problem.

“No. You don’t make family pay.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Charlie, I am very good at what I do and I like doing it. I like helping people. I like help you. And in all honesty, I am trying to show you how to solve your own problems, like with that Dean-kid last week.”

Now that Uncle Mike pointed it out, Charlie realized that he was the one who had come up with the final solution to the bully. Uncle Mike had just listened and asked the right kind of questions so that Charlie would figure it out. “You are the coolest, Uncle Mike,” Charlie told him. “Emily is a poopy head. She doesn’t matter.”

Uncle Mike huffed again. Charlie did a fist pump in the air; he made his uncle laugh twice in one phone call. “In all honesty, Charlie, Emily is probably sad that she doesn’t have anyone who listens to her problems.”

Charlie groaned. He knew where this was leading. “Are you saying that I should try to be her friend?”

“I’m saying that you shouldn’t call her names and make an enemy. But yes, she could use a friend, it sounds like.”

“Bummer. Okay, I’ll see what I can do.”

“Good.” Uncle Mike paused. “Was there anything else?”

“Science Fair is coming up and I need a really good idea and Ms. Compton says that I’m not allowed to ask Aunt Fi for help this year. Which is sad, Aunt Fi has the best experiments.”

“I’ll keep that in mind… and I might ask Fi on your behalf.”

“Great! It doesn’t count if you ask her!”

“Alright. You’ll call tomorrow?” Uncle Mike asked.

“Yes.”

“Good.” Uncle Mike hung up without saying goodbye, but he always did that. Charlie thought that meant that the conversation was never over, just continued on a different day.

*

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
marbleglove
Dec. 8th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
This is adorable!
faithburke
Dec. 8th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Thx! Hey, I'm offering fic for faithful reviewers like yourself if you want one. The prompt thread was dec 3.
marbleglove
Dec. 8th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
Ooh! I had missed that post. I definitely want. Thank you!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )