AN: Thank you as always for your reviews, personal messages and story adds. I have really enjoyed writing this story, but I think it's come to a natural end.
I hadn't planned to end it the way it has, but my lovely CSI friend TDCSI kept planting the idea in my head, so you have her to thank for this. I hope you like the ending hun.
I may write a sequel at some point depending if anyone would like to read it.
Madeline beamed a huge smile at Fiona when she walked through the door. She stubbed her cigarette out into a nearby astray and held out her arms, pulling the younger woman into a tight embrace before stepping back to hold onto her hands.
"How are you doing, honey?" she asked as she squeezed her hands warmly. "You were really quiet at dinner last night. Is everything okay with you and Michael?"
Fiona couldn't help but love this woman who had become more of a mother to her over the past few weeks. She smiled broadly at her before pulling back.
"I'm good," she told her. "We're both really good."
Madeline nodded dubiously and looked towards the door, half expecting her son to come walking through at any moment. When he didn't, she turned back to the woman before her, watching her with a worried gaze.
"So, where is he?" Madeline asked through narrowed eyes
Fiona smiled happily and untangled her hands from Madeline's fingers to hook her arm through the older woman's to pull her towards the kitchen table.
"We're out of a few things at home, so he went to the store."
Unlinking her arm from Madeline's, she moved towards one of the chairs and sat down. Her eyes following the older woman's as she did the same to sit down beside her.
"Home?" Madeline asked with a beaming smile, hardly able to contain her excitement as she reached out a hand to cover Fiona's. "So are you two living together now?"
Fiona blushed slightly as she dropped her eyes to their joined hands on the table before looking back up at her again with sparkling eyes.
"I guess we are."
"Oh honey, that is terrific…I can't…" Leaning forward, Madeline beamed a huge smile at the younger woman and planted a kiss on her cheek. "That is the best news I have heard all week…I can't tell you how happy that makes me."
"Me too," Fiona grinned with sparkling eyes.
"Are you really okay though, honey?" Madeline asked worriedly. "It's just that last night you seemed, I don't know…sad."
"I'm fine," Fiona told her, guilt seeping into her words. "I…had a reason for sending Michael to the store…I just wanted to see you alone first…I wanted to tell you that you were right."
Madeline regarded Fiona fondly. "About what?"
Fiona swallowed hard as she met Madeline's gaze, emotion filling her eyes. "I told him about the baby last night," she told her, her breath catching in her throat as her face lit up when she smiled. "He was…wonderful…"
"Oh honey," Madeline couldn't help the happiness escaping through her words as she reached out with her other hand to hold Fiona's in both of hers. "I told you he would be, didn't I?"
"You did," Fiona laughed as an errant tear escaped to roll down her face. Lifting her free hand she hurriedly swiped it away.
"He really does love you, sweetheart. I know he doesn't always show it…but he does."
Fiona sighed happily and nodded her head as she blinked back the tears in her eyes. "I know he does."
The door suddenly banged open as Michael came in carrying a large grocery bag in his arms. His eyes drifted over towards the two women watching him from the table before he placed the bag onto the kitchen counter.
"Hey sweetheart," Madeline beamed as she got up from the chair to walk towards him to throw her arms around his waist and hug him.
"Hi Ma," Michael told her with an awkward smile as he patted her back a few times before untangling himself from her.
Madeline beamed an adoring smile up at him. She couldn't remember a time when she had ever seen him this…happy. Looking over at Fiona who had moved towards them to lean against the kitchen counter, she smiled at her as she pulled another cigarette from the packet.
"I'm making pancakes," she told them with a beaming smile as she put a cigarette to her lips and lit it.
"Mom…you're cooking?" Michael asked dubiously, trying to disguise the apprehension in his voice. His mother's cooking was always an experience, and not always a pleasant one.
"I've been taking lessons," she told him proudly as she blew a plume of smoke into the air. "I wanted it to be a surprise."
"Oh…it's a surprise ma," Michael told her as he flashed her a wary smile before catching Fiona's warning glare.
When Madeline walked towards the stove, Michael turned to Fiona and grabbed her hand, pulling her to him.
"Whose idea was this?" he whispered into her ear, sending shivers down her spine.
When she moved back slightly to look up into his eyes, she cast him a gaze that told him all he needed to know. His face softened and he couldn't help but smile down at her.
"I didn't know she was going to cook," she told him, her voice no more than a whisper. "She just wants to spend some time with you."
Michael stepped closer to her to grasp onto her shoulders, running his fingers up and down her arms until he took hold of her hands.
"Okay," he leant in to place a kiss onto her forehead without releasing her hands.
He was rewarded with a beaming smile that almost caused his knees to buckle beneath him. He'd never felt like this before, so enamoured by the woman before him.
When he released her hands, he stayed close by her side, as if her mere presence could protect him from the disaster he knew would be awaiting him when his mother served up her version of pancakes.
"Well, I'm sure she'll have some juice here somewhere, at least it'll take the taste away!" He whispered jokingly, earning him a swipe on his arm.
"Behave," she told him with a smile as she stepped closer to him enticingly. "I'll make it worth your while…"
Michael gulped heavily and moved backwards, away from her. "Ma," he called, keeping his eyes on Fiona. "Do you want help with anything?"
Madeline poked her head out from behind an open cupboard door, a cigarette balancing on her lips. "No, I've got it…why don't you and Fi go sit down."
Fiona smiled at him and nodded towards the grocery bag he'd brought in with him. "So, what did you buy?"
"Huh?" he asked in confusion when her fingers ran over his bare arm.
"The groceries?" she asked him with a beaming smile. "They're not ours, are they?"
"What?" shaking his head he focused on her as she spoke and tried to regain his senses. Her touch was driving him to distraction but he couldn't bear to move away.
"Never mind," she grinned, as she squeezed his fingers. "Whatever you brought your mom, I'm sure she'll love it."
His eyes lit up with adoration, no wonder he loved her so much when she never ceased to amaze him. Leaning down, he planted a kiss into her hair, his arms pulling her tighter to him, "How did you know?" he asked, moving his arms to wrap her into his warm embrace.
"Because I know you," she told him with an adoring smile as she leant in closer to press her lips to his.
The kiss lasted only seconds, but it was enough. That one gentle touch conveyed the overflowing burst of feelings that had kept them woven together for so many years, only now binding them tighter in a love so strong that no one could ever come between them.
"Michael—" Madeline's voice caught them both by surprise and they sprang apart guiltily.
"Ma…" Michael started. "We were just…uh…"
"Don't stop on my account," she told them with a Cheshire cat like grin. "I was just going to ask you to set the table, but you carry on…pretend I'm not here!"
When she scurried away again, Fiona looked up into Michael's flushed face and couldn't help the soft chuckle that escaped her lips. He was completely adorable.
"We'll do that for you, Madeline," Fiona called out as she wrapped her fingers around Michael's hand and tugged him towards the kitchen.
Michael lifted a piece of pancake to his lips and regarded it dubiously. He was just about to put it back onto his plate when a sharp kick in his calf caused him to sit bolt upright in his chair and cast an accusing look in Fiona's direction.
She was glaring at him with a look that told him she wasn't amused and he immediately popped the pancake into his mouth and tried not to grimace as he chewed.
"Madeline," Fiona turned her attention to the older woman, keeping her eyes on Michael for a moment before she smiled at him in an apology. When Madeline looked in her direction she reached out to put a hand on her arm.
"Thank you for doing this for us," she told her, indicating the table, loaded with pancakes and various toppings. "You didn't have to go to so much trouble."
"I wanted to, honey," she beamed. "It's not often that the three of us are all together…it's special…"
Michael watched her for a few moments as if he was seeing her in a new light. For so many years he'd held on to so much resentment, most of it displaced onto her. His father was a brutal man who spoke with his fists, and for so many years Michael had vowed to get away from here and never return. But over the last four years he'd learnt a lot about his mother that he hadn't previously known. And having Fiona in his life, showing him what it was to feel so connected to another person had changed him. She had shown him that his mother had done the things she had to protect him in the only way she knew how. And for that, he had a new found respect for her.
"Mom," he spoke softly, gaining her attention as she turned to look at him questioningly.
"I mean it Michael," she told him, a small wine in her voice. "Family is special."
"Not that ma," he sighed. "I mean, I know that…but I wanted to thank you for what you did for Fi."
Both women eyed him affectionately and he suddenly felt very uncomfortable under their watchful gaze. Swallowing hard he closed his eyes briefly before he felt the touch of Fiona's hand on his and opened his eyes to seek hers. She was smiling at him encouragingly, her eyes sparkling.
Taking courage from her closeness, he turned back to his mother. "You helped Fi through a tough time when I was away. I'll always be grateful to you for looking out for her…I really do appreciate you, ma. I know there have been times when you thought I didn't."
Madeline's eyes glazed over as she smiled. "I know you do sweetheart. I love both of you so much. Family always comes first, and that's what we are…you, me, Fi, Sam and Nate."
"Yes," Michael nodded, his gaze wandering over Fiona's face as he spoke. "We are."
"Right," Madeline stood up abruptly and rubbed at her eyes quickly before reaching for her packet of cigarettes. "Let's clear this awful breakfast away and go out for some real food!"
"Oh, don't humour me honey. It tastes awful," she told him as she put a cigarette to her lips and lit it.
Fiona met Michael's eyes and gestured towards the mysterious grocery bag he'd brought in with him and he suddenly remembered. Standing abruptly, he ushered his mother back towards her seat and sat her down.
"We have something for you," he told her with a wide smile as he met Fiona's gaze.
"What is it?" Madeline beamed, turning to Fiona knowing that she would tell her.
Fiona shrugged her shoulders; she had no idea what Michael had been doing when he was out and she was just as eager as Madeline to see what he'd been up to.
Rummaging into the bag on the counter, he reached in and pulled out a large box and put it on the counter top.
"We brought you a new coffee maker," he told her with a smile. "Bug free and guaranteed not to explode when you use it. I know I had to dispose of the one that Carla planted in here."
Madeline got up from her seat, a cigarette between her fingers as she took a look at her gift. The smile that adorned her face was one of sheer joy. She couldn't remember a time when Michael had put so much thought into buying her anything.
Opening the box, she ran her fingers over the shiny new item and couldn't help the little sob that escaped her throat.
"Oh Michael," she gushed. "I love it…thank you...it's perfect."
Fiona came to stand beside Michael and smiled up at him affectionately. From the moment they had been held up together, fighting for their lives with the whole Vaughn shoot out, he had been different. She couldn't pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but from the second she had covered his hands with hers and told him they would die together, he had changed.
"What?" he asked her incredulously when he found her gaze focused on him. But instead of words, she leaned into his side and looped her arms around his waist, placing a gentle kiss under his chin.
"You did good, Michael," she sighed against him, her lips turning up into a smile.
His arms crept over her shoulders and held her to him, as they watched Madeline fussing over her new toy, pushing things out of the way so it could take pride of place on top of the counter.
When she turned to them and beamed a happy smile in their direction, Michael knew everything had changed.
Later that night after spending most of the day at his mother's, Michael was eager to return to the loft. He had been sharing knowing glances with the woman beside him, her silent encouragement spuring him forward. They'd made their excuses and left a short time ago, arriving at the loft a short time later.
Michael opened the door wide for Fiona to step through, slamming it with his foot as he turned her around, his lips blindly seeking hers.
They melted into each other, everything else forgotten as jackets and shoes flew in all different directions. Fiona wound her arms around his neck, kissing him with all the longing she had been denied for the last few hours, her body seeking release with his.
Michael started walking backwards, guiding her with him as their kiss deepened into something bordering on the edge of pure passion.
Pulling her lips from his, Fiona gasped for breath, her fingers blindly wrapping themselves around his, as he gently tugged her backwards.
"You not hungry?" she smiled seductively, resisting his gentle pull for a fraction of a second before he stepped forward to lift her into his arms.
"Later," he said softly as his lips found her neck, indicating that food was the last thing on his mind right now.
Fiona's senses were on high alert, her body tingling from head to toe as she wrapped her arms around his neck, relishing his kiss with a passionate fire of her own as she sucked his earlobe into her mouth.
He groaned against her throat as they fell backwards onto the bed, their arms still linked together until Fiona lifted her body to loom above his, bathing him with her loving gaze. His lips curled into a soft smile as he gazed up at her, hoping to convey with his eyes the extent of how much he loved her.
Leaning down, she captured his lips with her own, sealing them together in a kiss that burst through into a passionate frenzy as clothes left their bodies to be discarded onto the floor.
"Fi," he groaned, her name escaping his lips when she lifted herself up to straddle his thighs.
"I'm here," she whispered, the words dying on her lips when she took him inside her. Her eyes fluttered closed with the sensations he was causing throughout her body as he slowly took her to higher realms with his gentle movements. Sliding his hands up her thighs, he coaxed her eyes open with his soft strokes, wanting to see the fire in her eyes as he brought her near the edge only to pull her back again.
Fiona bent her head to find his lips, her tongue finding his bottom lip only to capture his when he groaned into her mouth. Their kiss deepened with the same frenzy as their bodies, taking them over the edge of passion, splintering their souls together as they moaned into each other's mouths.
Their lips slowly parted, their mouths still creeping back together for tiny kisses as they rode out their passion until the throbbing began to subside and their breathing slowing to somewhere near normal.
Lifting herself up on her elbows, Fiona gazed down into his eyes, showering him with every ounce of love she possessed.
"I love you," she whispered, her heart soaring as she once again spoke the words that slipped so easily from her lips.
Michael's face lit up with her words, as his hands slid up her body to tangle his fingers into her hair. In all of his life he had never felt so consumed with fire for another person. She breathed life into him, creating a simmering flame that erupted into a powerful burst of desire whenever she was near him.
With a gentle tug, he pulled her down to meet her lips, kissing her with so much love she thought she would ignite with the passion soaring throughout her.
She felt him moving beneath her as he left her warmth, capturing the soft whimper with his lips when he withdrew from her body.
Fiona moved to his side, untangling her legs to stretch along side his body, her lips leaving his to trail across his cheek.
"I love you," he croaked, his voice cracking under his intense emotions, "I don't think I can leave you again."
She smiled as she settled down next to him to lay her head on his chest. Her fingers came up to trace patterns on his chest, lulling him into a loving embrace while she kissed his skin.
"I'll be with you," she whispered, lifting her head so she could gaze up into his eyes. "Whatever you decide."
His eyes lit up with adoration. Leaning down, he planted a kiss into her hair, his arms pulling her tighter into his chest. Moving his arms he wrapped her into his warm embrace as they both relaxed.
"Mmm, I'm happy," she mumbled sleepily, her eyes refusing to stay open any longer as she settled against him. For a moment he was content to watch her, his heart still reeling from the blissful light she had brought to his life.
Her soft sighs lulled him into peacefulness, her love wrapping him in a blanket of warmth as he slowly drifted off to sleep beside her.
Fiona's heart was racing, she was here, with the man she had loved for so long, feeling more loved and protected than she had ever felt in her life time…and now this.
Staring down at the white stick in her hand, she swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat. How could this happen, now of all times? They'd been so careful.
Tears burned her eyes as she fought to think of a way to tell him. She didn't know if he actually wanted this life, even though he'd insisted he did. They were just words after all, words that could be denied when he changed his mind.
She was so consumed with her thoughts that she didn't hear him come back into the loft. The bed dipped beside her and her eyes sprang to his only to turn away just as quickly.
"I…" she indicated the white stick in her hands and was dismayed to feel a tear escape from her eyes to roll down her cheek. "I'm sorry…"
"For what?" he asked softly, reaching out to brush the errant tear away from her face.
She dropped her eyes to her hand that held the incriminating evidence and sighed heavily, tears blurring her vision. "For this…"
"Fi," his voice spoke softly as he tried to coax her to meet his gaze, "Fiona…"
"I'm pregnant," she told him quickly, her voice coming out somewhere between a hiss and a sob. "I'm…we're…"
"I know," he kept his voice tender when his arm slid around her shoulders to pull her close against his chest. His eyes travelled down to hers, trying in some way to convey to her just how much she meant to him. He could drown in her gaze; willingly fall into her welcoming depths if it meant he could stay there forever, and at that moment, he didn't care about anything else but this woman beside him.
One hand left her shoulder to glide up over her skin, leaving goose bumps over her flesh as he came to rest the palm of his hand over her still flat stomach. Their eyes spoke volumes, both needing more than mere touches alone as they slowly gravitated together, their lips meeting in one gentle touch before pulling away to settle against each other again.
"We're going to be okay," he whispered into her hair as he felt her settle in his arms. "With my burn notice lifted I have choices now. I don't have to leave Miami for months at a time."
Fiona burrowed closer into his chest, resting her head beneath his chin. "But what if it happens again…what if I lose it?" she whispered tearfully. "Michael…"
"You won't," he told her, pressing reassuring kisses over her temple. "I won't let it…"
"Shh," he whispered into her hair, moving her back so that he could look into her tear filled eyes. He met her gaze with a watery one of his own as his lips turned up into a bright smile. "We're going to be okay…all three of us…"
Thank you for reading