"Charlie, don't climb too high or else Grandma can't get you down." Madeline shouted at Charlie. She noticed that someone had sat down next to her but she did not look at them. Instead she pulled out her book and began to read.
"Charlie got big." Michael said.
Madeline put down her book. She turned her head to look at Michael. He wore a baseball cap, black shorts and t-shirt. He had a closely shaven beard, which was as dark as she remember but now also peppered with gray. "Michael?" she gasped.
"Yeah it's me, back from the dead. Don't cry, just act normal. Can't tell if they are still watching you." Michael said.
Maddie began to weep, even though Michael asked her not to cry. "I buried all of you. Tom Card came to the house and said you all died in a bombing."
"Mom, Tom Card was the most evil of the all. He sent us all on a suicide mission. He never meant for us to return. He was selling weapons and secrets to other countries for money. He hired Anson to take me down and when that didn't work he figured he had to kill me." Michael sniffled. "I don't want to talk about that though."
"What are you here for then?"
Michael began to breath heavily. "The last time I saw you, we didn't leave it very well. I just wanted to let you know, that I tried so hard to keep Nate safe but he just wouldn't listen to me. I'm so sorry that I didn't try harder. He was my baby brother and I let him down. I let you down too." He hung his head down and let out a soft sob.
"I shouldn't have been so hard on you. You were the best big brother Nate could have had. He was his own man and he knew what he was getting into when he went with you. You did everything to protect him. You protected him as a child and did so much for the family to keep us safe from Dad. I was a bad mother."
Michael covered her hand with his. "You weren't a bad mother. You did what you thought was right. Even though Nate had a gambling addiction and stole, he had a good heart. He tried so hard to make up for his mistakes but he just ended up paying for mine instead."
"How's everyone doing? Are they all here?" Maddie asked in a chipper voice.
Michael answered "They are driving around until we're done. Jesse and Sam are good. Fiona and I got married in Mexico. She's four months pregnant. I'm sorry you couldn't be at the wedding. I wanted to call you from a payphone or something but I couldn't."
"I'm glad you two made it official. About time she made an honest man out of you."
Michael laughed. "I just met with Barry. He's going to call you in a few days. Meet with him and he'll give you money. I put aside enough to help you if you need it."
"I don't want your money, sweetie. You take it. You are going to need it wherever you are going. Can you tell me where you are going?" Maddie asked softly.
He shook his head. "We're ok on money. Take it. Its the least I can do after all I put you through. All I can say its a small island. Its a good size house for the four of us and the baby to live in. I wish you see how beautiful Fiona is right now. She's glowing."
"I'm sure she is. You are going to be a good father. I know you worry about being like your father, but you won't be and none of them will let you be." Maddie assured Michael. "Maybe once the baby is born, you can send me pictures?"
Michael swallowed and nodded. "I'll try. I might have to send them to several people before they get to you, but I'll try. I'd want you to at least have a picture if you couldn't be there."
They sat in silence for some time. "I remember when things got bad with Dad, I would bring Nate here. He loved the swings. We would hit out in the round metal spaceship thing they had when Dad would come looking for us. He never found us. I used to tell Nate we were camping out like soldiers do."
Maddie and Michael watched Charlie play spaceman with another child. "Charlie loves your Star Wars toys. Spaceships and everything. He loves playing with them. Only for a few minutes then I put them away. He knows they are 'Uncle Michael's special toys'." Maddie said with her voice shaking.
Michael looked at his Mom and said "Let him have them, let him take them home. God knows I can't travel with anything."
Looking off to the trees, Michael sighed and with a tightness to his voice said "Mama, I have to go. I love you" He gave her hand a final squeeze and quickly walked off towards the woods, not looking back.
Making his way through the woods was difficult as he trying hard to hold back the tears in his eyes. He finally made his way through the woods where he saw the Jeep they had bought to use while they were there. Michael climbed into the backseat with Fiona. Everyone in the car was silent. They could all hear Michael's breathing. Moving closer to Michael, Fiona kissed his cheek.
"It's ok to let go." Fiona whispered as she kissed his cheek again. He leaned against her and began sobbing into the crook of her neck. "Guys we can't sit around, lets just get back to the airstrip. He'll be ok." Fiona held him tight while she buried her face against his head, silently crying with him.
About a year later, it was a beautiful sunny day. Michael and Fiona were sitting on the beach with their daughter, Hope. Michael was burying her feet in the sand while they both laughed at the baby trying to kick her feet free from the sand.
Fiona grabbed Michael's hand and said "Who are those two people walking towards us?" Michael looked over and saw two women walking his way.
"Mom?" He shouted.
He got up and ran down the beach, leaving a panicked Fiona alone with the baby. She watched as he gave her a hug and watched them approached the blanket Fiona was sitting on.
"What the hell? No one is supposed to know we are here. Someone is going to come and kill us now." Fiona said.
Pearce held out a newspaper. Fiona read out loud as Michael wiped his eyes. "Tom Card of the CIA was convicted last week of treason for selling guns and governmental secrets."
Pearce explained as Madeline took hold of the baby. "You met with Barry before you met with your Mom. Barry knew I was in the US again because I was using him for help on another case I was working on. He told me you were alive and I planted a wire on your mom. I figured you would at least tell your mom part of what happened. Turns out you gave me enough to put some puzzle pieces together and convict Card. I got a conviction, I proved you guys weren't dead and pulled some strings to get you back life again."
"So we can go back to Florida again?" Fiona asked.
Pearce answered "You can go anyplace you want really."
Michael and Fiona looked at one another. "Let go back to the house. You guys have to be thirsty." Michael led them up to a modest white house, with flowers and a high wooden fence that surrounded the yard.
Once inside, Sam and Jesse both dropped their beers once they saw Pearce and Maddie. Pearce explained why they were there and that they considered alive and innocent of anything they may have done.
Later that night the team sat outside watching Hope play in the yard, which is how they spent most evenings. "So we're alive, so we can go back to Miami." Jesse said.
Michael looked at Fiona, who smiled back at him. "Guys, Fi and are going to stay here. You know there is more than enough room if you want to keep living here, but we aren't moving back to Miami."
"What about your mom?" Sam asked.
Fiona replied "We have spare bedroom here, so we asked her if she wanted to live with us or continue living in Miami. She chose to come live with us."
Michael, looking at Sam who was swirling his iced tea in his glass asked, "Sam what about you? Staying or going?"
Sam put his glass down and said "Mike, I'm offended you would think I'd go back to Miami. Elsa is married but more importantly I got that little girl who I need to teach how to fish."
Jesse stood up and said "Well, I'm staying too. There are plenty of places that I want to take Hope hiking when she gets older."
Later that night, they said goodbye to Pearce who would be in contact with a few forms they had to sign. Michael walked into the kitchen and watched Sam, Jesse and Madeline playing with bubbles in the back yard.
"For all that bad stuff we went though, it turned out pretty good, didn't it?" Fiona said.
"It certainly did." Michael said as he wrapped his arms around Fiona. "Are you sure you are ok with mom living here?"
"Of course I am. After you left her, I knew how much it hurt to say goodbye and I don't want you to have do that again. Besides she has two things growing up that we both didn't."
Kissing her neck, he asked "What?"
"A peaceful and happy family."