Madeline's cup dropped to the floor with a crash. Unbroken, it lopsidedly rolled across the porch and off the edge, exploding into a thousand pieces as it met the top concrete step. It could have been a hand grenade and no one would have noticed. For the complete and total attention of the group was focused solely on Michael and Fiona. No one moved, no one breathed as they watched the scene unfold in front of them in sundrenched silhouette.
Michael reached Fiona with a single purpose. Bewildered she stared at him as he wordlessly took her by the hand and turned her toward him. "Michael, what?" she asked.
He stared at her for a moment, his heart nearly breaking just at the sight of her. "Someone once told me you were my past," he said finally, searching her eyes. "I told them they were wrong," he continued, then looked away trying to get a grip on his emotions. Swallowing hard, he looked back at her again and pressed on. "But they were right," he said quietly. "Fiona, you are my past."
She began to speak but he put his fingers to her lips, stopping her. "You are my past. And my present," he said. And dropping to one knee, he continued. "And, Fi, I hope with all my heart you'll be my future." Looking up at her he asked, "Fiona Glenanne, will you marry me?"
Fiona stared down at him, eyes wide. She stood there for a moment, frozen in place. Then suddenly without warning, flung herself bodily into his arms.
Michael grunted in pain as she crashed into him, sending them both reeling to the ground and the horse she had been leading, bolting. Rearing it spun around and away, heading back to the far pasture. Fiona ignored it, raining a torrent of kisses down upon Michael. "Is that a yes?" he gasped, trying to speak.
She stopped for a moment and looked at him, her hair falling forward. "That's a yes," she smiled.
In response he rolled her from him and onto her back, kissing her slowly and softly there in the grass. Pulling away he stroked her face, cupping it gently in his hand. Staring at each other for a moment, they both began to laugh. And intermixed with his laughter, almost imperceptibly, catching in his throat, Michael wept, for he had never known such complete happiness.
Ten days later Michael pulled into his mother's driveway. Exiting the car he walked toward the front steps only to be greeted by a large goat. Pulling his sunglasses off he stared in disbelief as he edged around it and made his way into the house.
Snuffling the air and unable to detect even the slightest hint of nicotine, the goat simply watched him pass, languidly continuing to chew its cud.
Michael walked into the house to find his mother cleaning her refrigerator. "Ma, you brought the goat back with you?"
"Isn't he cute?" she trilled.
"It's a 'her', Ma," he corrected, but then shook his head, getting back to the more relevant issue. "What are you going to do with a goat?"
"The goat and I have come to an understanding, Michael. Besides, I like him."
"What about the neighbors? Are you even allowed to keep a goat here? Don't you have an HOA or something?" he asked as he nonchalantly popped a section of her living room paneling open.
"Oh for heaven's sake. This coming from you, Michael?" she scoffed as she watched him remove a box of det cords hidden behind her living room wall. "You're worried about my neighbors… and me breaking a housing covenant?" She rolled her eyes. "Besides," she grinned. "You should be happy! That goat did something you and your brother have been trying to get me to do for years!" And she held up an empty, spotless ashtray in triumph. "In case you haven't noticed, Michael, …I've quit smoking! Me and the goat are officially nicotine free! Besides, with you and Fiona getting married, I bet it won't be long before we hear the pitter-patter of little feet! Right? I have to get ready!" she all but squealed.
"Yeah," Michael drawled out. "I'm gonna go, now, Ma," he said, and hastily made his exit.
"Don't forget you and Fiona are coming over tonight! I'm cooking!" she sang after him. "After that we're all going to look at bridal magazines! Bring Sam, too!"
Michael sat in his car for a moment trying to process it all. Everything about his life always seemed so surreal. He started the engine and drove back toward his loft, wondering absently if other families were even remotely like his. He thought of the people he considered family; his mom, Fiona, Sam, Nate, even Virgil and yes, Barnsdale, too. No, he was fairly sure his family was pretty unique.
Pulling up to his gate he cut the engine and climbed from his car, only to be met by a middle aged man dressed in a business suit and holding a large manila envelope.
"Who?" Michael responded reflexively.
The man frowned. "I have documents for a Michael Westen. Is this you?" he asked, holding up a photo that was obviously Michael.
"Documents? What kind of documents?" Michael asked, glancing only briefly at the picture as he unlocked the metal gate.
"From the estate of Larry Sizemore," the man said, and handed the envelope to Michael. "Have a good day," he said flatly, and got back in his car and drove away.
Michael parked the Charger and headed up the steps to his loft, frowning over his breathlessness as he reached the top step. Though his wounds had basically healed, he was still not back to his old self. Barnsdale had warned it would take time. Even so, he was impatient, tired of not being a hundred percent. He paused for a moment to catch his breath, then pushed open the door. Sam and Fiona greeted him as he came in.
"Hey, Mikey," Sam called out. A half empty beer bottle in hand, he was sitting in Michael's favorite chair. "How 'ya doin'?" he asked, his arm still in a sling from his own injuries.
"Your breathing sounds a little harsh," Fi commented, walking over to him and looking at him closely. "Michael, Barnsdale told you to take it easy."
"Yeah, brother, I noticed you paused there for a while at the top of the steps," Sam added. "You okay?"
Michael frowned. Nothing got past these two. "I'm fine," he said, then changed the subject quickly as he crossed the room to his kitchen, Fiona following after him. "Soooo…. my mom has a pet goat now," he said, throwing the envelope down on the counter and pulling a yogurt out of his fridge.
"Yeah," Sam replied. "Cute little fella."
"It's a girl," Michael corrected, then looked at Sam with surprise, "You know about this?"
"Well, yeah, Mikey," Sam answered. "I mean she loves the thing. Once she got over the whole, you know, cigarette incident."
Michael simply shook his head in disbelief as he pulled a spoon from a drawer and peeled the top from his yogurt.
"What's wrong with your mother having a pet, Michael?" Fiona chimed in. Grabbing the yogurt and spoon away from him before he could take his first bite, she crossed to the bed, plopped down and began to eat. "Ooo, new brand?" she asked, enjoying the flavor.
Michael narrowed his eyes at her.
"What?" she asked innocently.
Sighing, Michael turned back to the fridge for another yogurt.
"I say if it a pet makes her happy, why not?" Fiona continued, waving her spoon about as she talked.
"It's a goat, Fi. Goats aren't pets, they're…" his voice trailed off as he held up his hands in defeat. He may as well be talking to the wind. "Whatever," he said, and then stood stock still as he realized he'd just sounded exactly like his mother. Shaking his head he moved on. "Look. I have other news. I know we were going to talk about the Rincon job for your …friend, Sam, but," and he picked up the envelope and let it drop back to his counter, "It looks like Larry's back. Sort of."
"How many times do we have to kill that man?" Fiona exclaimed.
She was interrupted by Michael's cell ringing. "Yeah, Ma," he answered, hitting the speaker.
"Michael! It's Barnsdale! He's in my rose bushes and I can't get him out!"
"What?" he exclaimed in shocked confusion. "Barnsdale? What?" Michael asked again. "Ma, slow down. You're not making sense. Barnsdale's at your house?"
Sam and Fiona snorted, exchanging looks and grinning.
"Oh my gosh!" Madeline shrieked over the phone. "He's headed for the trellis! Michael!"
He was interrupted by Fiona. "Michael," she said, grasping his arm. "Your mother named the goat Barnsdale."
Staring at her in disbelief, he frowned, rolling his eyes. "Ma, I gotta go," he sighed and clicked off the phone.
Michael looked at Fiona and Sam. "This," he said, holding the phone up. "This is what I'm talking about."
Shaking his head, he went back to the envelope on his counter, opening it as Sam and Fiona gathered 'round. Staring at the document now held in his hands, he couldn't believe his eyes. It was Larry's Will. Scanning through the scant two page document, it stated Michael had inherited all. Including the contents of one safety deposit box located at a very high security bank. A safety deposit box they were, by now, all very familiar with.
"Well it looks like that problem is solved," Michael said, looking at Sam. "You know, Larry told me he gave me everything," he said quietly, remembering his words back at the clinic. "I guess he really meant it."
Sam looked at the paper work and attached accounts. "There's millions, here, Mikey," he said soberly.
"It's blood money," Fiona grimaced.
"She's right, Mikey."
"What are you going to do, Michael?"
"I'll try to give back what I can," he answered. "The rest… I don't know. Maybe we can use it for good somehow. Finance some of these jobs we get."
"Sounds like a plan, Mikey."
"Meanwhile, at least we can get that file of yours, Sam," he said.
"And I was so looking forward to using some of my new C-4," Fiona sighed, smiling at Sam. "Oh well." Walking over to Michael, she came up behind him and slid her hands around his waist, leaning her head against his back. "So, she sighed. "It's finally over?"
He turned around to face her. "It's over, Fi," he said, wrapping his arms around her.
"So does this mean we can concentrate on our future?" she asked.
"As much future as Miami holds for its prodigal son," Michael answered, moving a stray hair gently from her face and looking into her eyes.
"Yeah, um…" Sam interrupted. "I'm gonna go now," he said uncomfortably, jerking a thumb toward the door. "Hey, Mikey, don't forget to practice your snap!" he called over his shoulder as he headed for the door, but before he reached it, Michael's phone rang again.
Hitting the speaker Michael answered, "Yeah, Mom."
"Michael?" she was almost screaming now. "Michael! You have to come quick! It's Barnsdale! I think… Michael! I think Barnsdale is having a baby!" she cried.
Michael clicked off the phone and held it to his forehead, trying to massage a newfound headache away. Then looking up at Sam and Fi, they simultaneously broke into laughter. Picking up his keys, Michael, Sam, and Fi headed for the door together.
"So Mikey. You been practicing your snap?" Sam asked as they walked down the steps.
"Workin' on it, Sam."
"Hey, I'm here for you, brother. A little older, a little wiser, a little more mileage…"
"A lot more mileage," Michael corrected.
"Oh, now that's not nice."
"Sorry, Sam," he smiled as they all got in the Charger and headed toward Madeline's house.
"So…," Sam began. "Anyone here know anything about deliverin' goats?"
Months later Michael stood alone in a black suit and red silk shirt and tie. His cover name that day was Lewis. Surrounded by street thugs, he calmly raised one hand and simply snapped his fingers. The snap was sharp, loud, and clear. Instantly explosions erupted about him as he stood stock still without so much as a flinch. His red silk tie fluttering back from the breeze of it, and the scrambling thugs the only evidence of how close the destruction. Slowly the faintest hint of a smile appeared on Michael's face as he turned and walked away. Sam would be proud.
A/N: Okay, I know, I know. Two things:
1) This does not fit at ALL with the timeline of the "real" story. To that I say, "Oh well!" LOL! It was the best I could do.
2) What about the WEDDING? LOL! I'm sorry, boys and girls. Maybe I'll write a sequel.
Other than that, did you like it? I sure spent many an hour writing this monster. Thank you so much for all the reviews. I do hope you'll take the time to check in and post one final comment and share your thoughts. Who knew this would turn into the behemoth it did? This was only my second fic and it sort of took on a life of its own. The first was for Stargate Atlantis. I was simply never happy with it, so I pulled it. I'm considering going back thru this one and tweaking it a bit. With no beta… it needs a LOT of tweaking I'm afraid.
I'm not sure I have the time to devote to another story. Perhaps if one of you would like to co-write one with me?
In any event, thank you to everyone who came along for this crazy ride, and especially to those of you who took the time to leave a review.
Oh, and one more thing: I don't own anything Burn Notice. Please don't sue me. I have enough problems. :OP