A/N: Happy Fourth of July everyone!
"Are you ready?"
Fiona looked up to see Michael walk through her front door. He was dressed more casually than usual with just Levi's and a white tee. He was beaming at Fiona as he walked up to her. She raised an eyebrow at him.
"Ready for what?"
"Barbeque at Ma's?" Michael prompted, looking slightly crestfallen. Fiona's eyes flew wide.
"Oh! That's today?"
Michael rolled his eyes. "It's the fourth, Fi, yes."
"The fourth," Fi echoed slowly. "July the fourth... Independence Day! Right. I forgot."
Michael sighed heavily. "Good job. How long have you been in the States?"
"It's not like I ever celebrated any American holiday, Michael," Fiona pointed out. "Living here in Miami is proving to be a lot more domestic than living in New York ever was."
"Well, you'll enjoy this," Michael promised, grabbing her hand to pull her outside to the Charger. "Sam's already started up the grill. We've got brats, hamburgers, chips and beer. Then a perfect view of the fireworks on top Ma's roof."
Fiona laughed as she slid into the car. "Your parents actually let you out on the roof as a kid?"
Michael chuckled as he joined her in the car. "Well, no, but I think Ma wants to go up there this year herself. That's not the point, Fi. The point is it's the Fourth of July. The first one I've been able to enjoy in the States for a few years now."
Fiona shook her head, amused as Michael started up the car. "You're excited as a kid on Christmas morning, aren't you?"
Michael flashed her a grin. "More. Fourth of July is my favorite holiday."
"Why am I not surprised?" Fiona said quietly. "I guess I just don't get it, Michael."
"Get what?" he asked, glancing over, his smile dropping minimally.
"The whole patriotism thing," she replied. She gestured to him. "I mean, look at you. You're wearing Levi's, a white tee and are you..." She peered down to his feet on the pedals. "How long have you had red converse?"
"Ma found them," Michael replied, his grin returning. "I figured I needed some red. I've got the-"
"Red, white and blue thing going, yeah, I see that," Fiona interrupted. "That's exactly what I mean. And this isn't like St. Patrick's where you get to pinch people if they're not wearing the right colors. You don't see Irish flags all over the place March seventeenth. But... Holy crap." She stared out her window before smacking Michael in the arm and pointing. "Look at that car. Decked out in American flags. This is what I mean!"
"I think there's quite a difference between St. Patrick's and the American Independence Day, Fi," Michael pointed out. "It's our Independence Day."
"Yeah, I guess," Fiona said quietly. Michael glanced over at her, hoping he hadn't ruined the mood. They drove in silence the rest of the way to Madeline's house. A sweaty and greasy Sam greeted them from the grill as they stepped out of the Charger.
"Happy Fourth!" he cried, grinning. "How do you like your burgers, Fi?"
"Medium rare," Fi answered, not quite returning the excitement. Michael threw her a worried glance. He was going to feel terrible if he'd dragged her to this and she was miserable the entire time.
"Michael! Fiona!" Maddy greeted, walking out with plates and napkins in her hands. "How are you?" She and Fiona kissed each other on the cheeks, a slight smile settling on Fiona's lips. Relief coursed through Michael. Maybe she could enjoy herself.
Dinner was extremely enjoyable for everyone. Laughter rang through Maddy's yard and everyone seemed to be relaxed for once. Late that night, all four of them hauled themselves up onto the roof with a couple of blankets to settle back for the fireworks. Fiona found herself snuggling into Michael's chest, smiling at the display of colors. Suddenly she sat up, pecking Michael's cheek before cuddling back into his chest. Michael stared at the top of her head in shock.
"What was that for?" he asked quietly, not wanting to disturb Sam and Maddy from their "ooh"s and "aah"s. Fiona smiled to herself.
"It was a thank you," she replied.
"This," she said, throwing a hand out to the fireworks. "I can see why you like it. I may not understand it, but..." She shrugged. "I like it."
Michael smiled, a warm feeling of satisfaction settling in his stomach. But then he frowned, looking back down to her.
"You sure you don't just like it because of the illegal fireworks we were playing with earlier?"
Fiona simply grinned.
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!