Disclaimer: Burn Notice and the characters are not mine. No money is being made from this fan fiction.

AN: This is my first attempt at a Michael/Fiona story. A friend asked me to write something for her, so this is the result. I love Michael/Fiona and Burn Notice. Unfortunately in the UK we're still waiting for season 4, so I've watched season 4 online over and over again!

Feedback: Love it, but no flames please, I'm fragile!

Thank you to Kelly for the quick beta. You're a star!

Last embrace

Fiona wandered to one of the far corners of the temporary hide out that was to be their base for the night. Taking the sleeping bag out of her pack, she threw it onto the ground with more force than she'd intended, causing a nearby plank of wood to crash to the ground.

"Sorry," she mumbled when the conversation between Jesse, Sam and Michael suddenly halted and they each glanced over in her direction. Shrugging her shoulders she silently dared any one of them to comment, but none of them did. Instead she watched as they quietly whispered to each other before breaking apart to walk in different directions.

She was exhausted, emotionally and physically. She loved Michael fiercely, she did, but sometimes he infuriated her when he allowed his quest to consume him. Sometimes she wondered if they would have been destined to find each other again if she hadn't come rushing to his side in Miami.

With a heavy sigh she eased herself down to sit cross legged on her makeshift bed and rubbed her hands across her tired eyes. How was she supposed to sleep when in only a few hours her life would change forever? If by some miracle they survived the onslaught that Vaughn and his cronies had planned for them, then what? She knew in her heart that it would never be over, that Michael would continue on his quest to return to his old job and leave her behind again.

She was a strong person; she had handled his betrayal once before when he'd left their bed in the middle of the night. He'd left her with broken promises and an empty void that she knew no one else would ever be able to fill. But she loved him, and that love came at a very high price. Loving Michael Westen meant living with a guarded heart, because she knew that one day he would eventually break hers, again.

Usually she would have been able to sense his approach before he got near to her, but she was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn't hear him. So when Michael reached out a hand to her shoulder, she couldn't help the audible gasp that escaped her lips.

She hadn't expected him to come over to her, not with Jesse, Sam and his mother in the same room. Any hope she had of spending their last night together locked in passion were quickly pushed away as she turned to him and offered him a sad smile.

"Hey," he spoke softly, his voice calming her shredded nerves. "You okay?"

For a few moments she considered telling him the truth. She knew that she was far from okay, that all she wanted to do was lash out to make someone, anyone, pay for the misery she was trying to keep at bay. Instead, she took a small breath and offered him what she hoped was a reassuring smile.

"I'm fine," she murmured quietly, hoping he couldn't see the sadness in her eyes. "Why?"

"Everyone's setting down for the night," he told her with a hopeful smile.

"Really?" she asked him sadly. "I thought you'd still be going over your plans for tomorrow."

"Fi—"

"It doesn't matter," she told him with a heavy sigh before offering him another tight smile. "Don't hog all the bed like you usually do."

For the first time in a long, long time, he genuinely smiled. "This coming from the woman with the coldest feet in Miami."

"I have not," she told him indignantly as she moved aside so he could crawl onto the makeshift bed. She knew he was trying to lighten the mood, even for just a little while, so instead of biting back with a snappy comment she offered him a small smile. "Well, at least I don't snore!"

"You do so snore."

"Michael Westen," her voice rose huffily until she saw the huge smile break out on his face, melting away any retort she could have come up with.

"Fi, Just get over here and lay with me…please?"

Fiona couldn't help but smile down at him. He could be the most infuriating, beautiful man she had ever known. Ignoring the heaviness in her heart she crawled down to lay beside him, wanting nothing more than to wake up tomorrow in another time where there was no Vaughn, no burn notice and no threats.

Shifting closer towards him, she settled her head onto his chest and pressed her ear over his heart. She had always loved being this close to him, his rhythmic heartbeat lulling her senses.

She felt Michael slide his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer to him. She knew that tomorrow, when it came, would be a turning point in their already complicated relationship. He was close to getting his old life back, and as much as she wanted to be happy for him there was always the dread eating away at her. She was in this fight all on her own, with no hope of winning against what his old job could give him.

Fiona shuffled her body closer and turned her face into his shirt to place a soft kiss onto his chest before settling against him again. She would miss this, being with him so closely. Her chest suddenly lurched tightly as she fought the burning wetness in her eyes. She couldn't let him see her like this.

"You're quiet," he whispered as he threaded his fingers through her hair.

His words caused the unwanted tears to spring to her eyes and she desperately tried to blink them away.

"I'm fine," she breathed, hoping he hadn't heard the waver in her voice.

His hand stilled in her hair and she felt him turn slightly so that he could place a soft kiss against her temple. He pulled her closer, knowing instinctively that she was fighting the same warring emotions that he was.

"Fi—"

"Michael," she choked out, knowing that whatever he was going to say wouldn't ease the ache in her heart. She wanted to tell him she understood, even though she didn't. She wanted to tell him that she would stand aside and give him her blessing, but that would have been a lie. So instead she swallowed the lump in her throat and willed the emptiness away.

"It's going to be rough," he told her, his voice whispering into her hair. "If there was any other way—"

"I know," she told him softly, cutting him off before he could say anything else. "You should try and get some sleep."

Reaching lower, he planted a soft kiss on her temple as he stroked his fingertips over her bare shoulder. "So should you."

His words transported her back to Ireland; back to the night he had left her that first time. "That's what you said to me the night you left," she told him shakily.

"That was a lifetime ago Fi," he whispered as he stroked her soft skin. "We were so different back then."

"Were we?" she asked him softly, hoping he couldn't hear how much she was struggling to stay in control of her torrid emotions.

Michael closed his eyes as he thought back to that night. One of the hardest things he'd ever had to do in his life was to leave her asleep in their bed, knowing he would never see her again. She knew that, didn't she?

"Fi…"

He spoke her name so softly that she almost didn't hear him at first. She could hear by his voice that he was trying so desperately to make her understand. But she couldn't shake the hopelessness as she tried to swallow the tears that threatened to engulf her.

"Please look at me," he pleaded softly, his voice no more than a whisper.

She shook her head against him, closing her eyes tightly to stop the fresh tears from escaping. Grabbing a fistful of his shirt, she turned her face into his chest, burying herself into him. She tried to take a deep breath but it only came out in a sob. Her tight resolve slipped away as she crumbled, shaking against him as she cried.

Turning onto his side facing her, he moved so that her arms could slip around him to move closer still, pressing himself against her. He didn't know what he could say to her that would make any of this better. So he tightened his arms around her and buried his lips against her, pressing kisses into her hair.

"It's okay," he whispered softly, his own eyes filling with tears as he spoke. "Shhh…it's going to be okay."

His words only caused her to sob harder, her body shaking against him. She tried to swallow the sobs and stop the tears from flowing, but the more she tried, the more they came. She was going to lose him again and there wasn't a thing she could do about it.

"It's okay," he told her over and over as she cried against him, knowing anything he said wouldn't take this pain away.

Madeline could hear the muffled sobs of the woman she had considered her daughter in law for so many years. Her eyes caught sight of Jesse who was showing the same signs of distress that she was. Despite their differences, Madeline knew that whatever was going on in the far corner of the room was something that only Michael could take care of.

Shaking her head at Jesse she silently warned him to avert his eyes and turn away. She could clearly see from where she lay that her son was doing everything he could to show Fiona that he loved her. She'd never been more proud of him than in that moment.

Turning onto her side, facing away from them, she tried to not think of how much she needed a cigarette right now.

After a short while Fiona's sobs slowly died away to leave her feeling raw and more vulnerable that she had ever been in her life.

Michael still hadn't released his hold on her. He still wound his arms around her, his fingers combing through her hair. He loved her more than he could ever admit, but those words were so foreign to him, so hard to say. With love came a vulnerability that he'd never let anyone see, but her.

Moving his lips to her forehead he closed his eyes. His own tears leaked onto her skin causing her to lift her head, her damp eyes seeking his.

"I'm sorry," she whispered through fresh tears. "I'm so sorry."

"No," he told her softly as he kissed down her face, planting kisses over her eyes and nose before finally reaching her lips. He poured everything into the kiss, hoping she could feel how much he loved her. Both of them sobbed quietly as they kissed, desperation making them cling together, holding onto each other like a lifeline.

Michael's mind screamed out to him to tell her that he loved her like a mantra… I love you, I love you, I love you…

Fiona's sob caught in her throat as she tore her lips from his to press burning kisses over his face and neck. She needed him so badly. She needed that intimate connection that bound them so tightly together.

When her lips grazed the side of his throat, Michael lifted his head to accommodate her, losing himself in her soft ministrations. With every touch of her lips he wanted to tell her. The three words echoed in his mind over and over until they spilled softly from his lips without warning. He heard her sob out his name, and whisper over and over that she loved him too.

It had been so long since someone had said those words and meant them. Those three words that were more powerful than anything he'd ever felt before. Lifting his head he pulled her mouth to his and kissed her, pouring every ounce of love he had into her. She melted into him, pulling him closer as she deepened the kiss.

Michael groaned against her, tearing his lips away from hers with a gasp.

"We have to stop," he whispered breathlessly. "We can't…"

"I know," she breathed heavily against his neck, feeling more alive than she had felt in such a long time. "We…" she kissed his throat, "can't…"

"Not here…" he kissed her eyes.

"After…"

"Yes…" she told him, her lips turning up into a smile. "When this is over."

"When this is over," he agreed with a watery smile.

Laying her head back onto his chest, she smiled when he brought his hand to hers, lacing their fingers together.

"Whatever happens," she sniffed back the onslaught of fresh tears. "We're in this together."

"Together," he told her softly as he buried his face into her hair and pulled her tighter. "Always."

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