It's been awhile since I've done this. I was moved to fill in the space between the time they picked up Fi and got back to the loft.

Next Moves

They remain there. The world swirling around them. Unaware of where they were or who was watching. He buried his head into her shoulder. Something his mother has fought not more than 2 hours ago. She had demanded he leave. He had told that Jesse and Sam would be heading to Allarod to get Fi.

The words pierced her lips like a poison, "Get your prize. It cost me my son."

As they stood there, Michael whispered, "Nate died. It's my fault." The words took Fi's breathe away. She held him tighter. She felt her tears form at the same moment she felt his fall on to her shoulder. She thought that holding him like that would make all the horrible things disappear for a minute.

They broke apart at the same time. Hand in hand they met Sam and Jesse. Jesse dove in for a hug. "It's so great to have you back," Jesse managed. Sam watched. Fiona turned to the man who she had hated 6 years ago, then grew to tolerate, then love as much as any of her brothers. With an "aw shuck" kick of his foot, he held his arms out. Fiona nearly jumped into his arms. She hugged Sam almost as hard as Michael. She knew that Michael must have kicked his ass about letting her turn herself in. Never before had the four of them been so much on the same page.

Sam drove back to the loft. Little was said. Michael and Fi sat in the back of the Charger. Michael's one arm wrapped around Fi's shoulder and gently rubbed the scar from the gun shot wound. His other hand was entwined in Fiona's. She rubbed his palm with her thumb. Her other hand held on to his forearm wrapped around her shoulder. Michael kissed the back of her head. Fiona kissed the palm of his hand. No words were spoken between them.

Jesse began to review what had happened to Nate. Michael looked out the window as Jesse described the scene as if it was part of the report he had given to the CIA. And Sam drove. Fiona looked out the other window and tears fell.

When they got to the loft, Sam and Jesse volunteered to go look in on Maddie. "Brave," thought Fi. "She'll never forgive." Michael and Fiona remained in the car until well after the gate had been closed and locked. Silent tears paralyzed them. Finally, Fiona managed, "We should go in. It's getting dark." They walked up the stairs to the loft. Michael unlocked the door to their home. Nothing had changed. Everything had changed. Michael walked over to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.

"This is my fault. All of it. All the compromise I have asked of you, Sam, Jesse, Mom and Nate. All he ever wanted to do was prove himself to me. You should have seen his eyes when I walked up to him holding Anson. He was so proud. He had helped ME. Then that bullet ripped through him." Michael began pacing the room like a caged, angry tiger. "Do you know what he said to me as he died? I'm scared. Do you know how many times I heard him say that to me as a kid? And I couldn't protect him. I couldn't stop this. She has every right to hate me. I hate myself."

Fiona sat on the end of the bed understanding completely how he felt. She was well acquainted with the white, hot hate of this loss. That hate made many decisions for her. It had led her to the IRA. It had made friends with the like of Thomas O'Neill and Armand. It took meeting Michael McBride to learn to forgive herself. It took the emptiness of their bed when he left to know what the absence of love was like. But, she was older now. She knew far more about her love than she ever did before. That he never intended to leave her then and now. That the things that they had in common: sacrifice, loyalty were forever.

Fi began to think about what needed to be done. He leaned into the kitchen bar and held his head down. She walked behind him and wrapped her arms him. She pressed her body into his. "We need to leave here to think. Nothing will be accomplished here. It's too close, Michael. We know how to grieve for Nate. We know what needs to be done. We need space to think. I'm getting a bag together." Fiona went to the back of the loft and pulled together clothes and weapons. He was still in the same position, frozen in the moment. "Let's go." And Fiona led Michael out of the loft in the Miami night.