Disclaimer: Burn Notice and all of its characters belong to Matt Nix and the USA Network.

Get out your guns, battles begun, are you a sinner or a saint?

If love's a fight, then I shall die with my heart on a trigger.

They say before you start a war, you better know what you're fighting for.

Well, baby, you're all that I adore, if love is what you need, a soldier I will be.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting 'til the war's won,

I don't care if Heaven won't take me back.

I'll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know you're everything I have?

And I wanna live, not just survive, tonight.

There were very few occasions that Michael Westen drank enough alcohol to obscure his senses. He'd seen the effect that large amounts of alcohol had on a man. He'd endured the devastating blows to his back and head as he crowded over his mother's body and silently willed his brother to stay under their bunk beds. He'd felt the swelling of his skin and the rushing of the blood in his ears as his father screamed over the sound of flesh hitting flesh when he came home in the midst of, yet another, drunken bender. He'd have an occasional drink with Sam and Fiona after they wrapped up a job or at some sort of holiday function, but that was about the extent of it.

Truth be told, the brutal beatings of his childhood probably played a large part in the agressively passionate approach that he had about love. When he was a teenager, he'd shyed away from any advances that any of the women in his school had made. He stuck to himself, and kept his head down, hoping to blend into the color of the walls. That didn't mean, however, that if someone started something that he felt was unjust or just plain wrong he wouldn't step in and take care of the problem, especially if it had to do with Nate. No one messed with the Westen boys.

Then he'd gone and joined the military directly out of high school. The first three weeks in boot camp had been hell on his sleep. He couldn't get the image of his mother and brother taking the brute of the abuse that he'd endured because he left. When he finally allowed himself to move past that, he had thrown everything he'd had, the anger that he'd built up and the guilt that was damned near crippling, into his special forces training.

He'd been thrown into some of the most horrific, hellish situations that the military could conjure up with his squad, and he'd made it out alive. He was a model soldier because of the aggression that he had taken from his "relationship" with his father. To call it a bloodthirst was probably too far, but he had forced himself into the mindset where he could take a human life with little to no remorse.

Michael Westen was a man to be feared. His enemies knew that, and they knew to steer clear of his squad for the years that they operated together. They were a killing machine, and he intended to serve out the rest of his career ducking in and out of banyan trees in muggy rainforests and blending in with the goat farmers in middle eastern towns. That was, until he got the message from his mother that he had been waiting for his entire life. His father was dead.

When he returned to the states, his mother had been a wreck, though he couldn't really comprehend why that was. The man that she was so in love with had been the man that had torn their lives apart. But, she was upset, and that was the last thing that Michael ever wanted to see. So he'd come home and lived on her couch for a few months until she settled back in and got her life in some semblance of the order before he applied for the CIA.

Twelve months of training later, they were sending him into the field with guns blazing. He was damned good at his job. That was something that he never had trouble admitting, and things were going excellent for him. Until he walked into The Black Sands Pub during an op in Ireland and asked Fiona Glennanne to dance and his world got turned on its ear...

Sometimes to win, you've got to sin, doesn't mean I'm not a believer.

And Major Tom will sing along, yeah, they still say I'm a dreamer.

They say before you start a war, you better know what you're fighting for.

Well, baby, you're all that I adore, if love is what you need, a soldier I will be.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting 'til the war's won.

I don't care if Heaven won't take me back,

I'll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know you're everything I have?

And, I wanna live, not just survive, tonight.

"Would you care to dance?" He'd asked, the sweet lilt of an Irish brogue rolling off of his tongue like dark honey. The woman swilled down the rest of the whiskey in the shot glass in front of her before producing a snub-nose revolver from underneath her knee-length dress and pointing it directly in his face. Michael lifted his hands in surrender and gave a nervous chuckle. "I'll take that as a 'yes' then?" She had stared at him, her eyes narrowed in something of a glare before she tucked the gun away and gave him a devilish smile. She nodded and tucked her arm into his as she allowed him to lead her onto the crowded dance floor. It only took one twirl with her arms wrapped tightly around his shoulders to know that he was in trouble.

"So, do I get to know your name?" He whispered into the shell of her ear as they swayed to the rhythm of the acoustic guitar that filled the pub. She chuckled deep in her chest.

"Fiona." She replied, her voice melodic and sweet.

"Do you have a last name, Fiona?" He smirked, his fingers ghosting over her lower back until a shiver ran through her body.

"Glennanne. Fiona Glennanne." She pulled back to look in his eyes curiously, her hand moving up his shoulder until her fingers tangled in the small curls of hair at the base of his skull. "What about you?"

"Michael McBride." He replied easily, the cover story as second nature as breathing.

"Pleased to meet you, Michael McBride." He laughed, a full-bodied laugh that eminated from his toes.

"Oh, no, Miss Glennanne, the pleasure is all mine." He pulled her close to his chest and spun them around easily before dipping her, his arms wound tightly around her waist. She gasped and her fingers dug into the meat of his biceps, her leg curling around his calf instinctively. He smiled down at her, an ear to ear smile that showed her all of his ivory teeth and the dimple that lived directly under the scar on his left cheek. Before she had a chance to react, he had uprighted her and disentangled himself from her grasp.

Michael grinned as he watched Fiona's head trying to catch up as he clapped along with the rest of the crowd. He waited for her to realize that the band had stopped playing. When she finally began to clap slowly, he leaned in until his heated breath brushed over her ear.

"I'll see you soon, Fiona Glennanne." He hadn't given her a chance to respond before he swept out of the pub into the dreary night and back to his rundown apartment, his heart still hammering in his chest. She was definitely going to be a problem...

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting 'til the war's won.

I don't care if Heaven won't take me back.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting 'til the war's won,

I don't care if Heaven won't take me back,

I'll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know you're everything I have?

And, I want to live, not just survive tonight.

And, I'm gonna hide, hide, hide my wings tonight...

His hands trembled as he paced back and forth in the loft. Michael Westen didn't get nervous. It just didn't happen. But he knew that the tight curl in the pit of his stomach was nerves. Anxiety. Fear. He ran his hands through his hair roughly and he adjusted the lapels of his suit jacket for what seemed like the millionth time. The sound of the front door opening drew his attention. Fiona stepped into the loft, grocery bags in both of her hands.

"Michael, the store was out of yogurt, but I think we can go to the-." Fiona's words died on her lips and Michael watched her glance around the loft. The rope lights clung to the corners of the walls, spilling dim light across the hardwood floors. He reached over to the workbench and held a bouquet of roses out to her. "Flowers? Lights? What's going on, Michael?" She questioned, her voice wary. She reached past him and set the grocery bags on the workbench.

"Fi, I know that things have been crazy the past few months," That was an understatement. His brother was dead, he'd almost lost Fiona when she'd been stuck in that prison hellhole, and his mother hated his guts. "And there's something that I wanted to ask you." She stared at him curiously, her arms wrapping around her torso tightly.

"What's that?" He extended his hand in front of her carefully, pointing a remote across the room with the other. A soft, melodic strum of an acoustic guitar filled the loft.

"Would you care to dance?" He whispered, his face breaking into a wide grin. She smiled back at him before stepping into his arms. He wrapped one arm around her waist and pulled her tight to his body, swaying gently to the music. He felt the sharp scrap of stubble on his face catching on Fiona's skin as she pressed her cheek against his.

"You know, the last time we did this, things didn't end well." She whipsered, her arm wrapped around his shoulders and her other hand laced with his, laying against his chest. He grimaced at the reminder of the day that he walked out on her. It was the single most difficult thing that he had ever had to do.

"I know, and I'm so sorry." He whispered into the tendrils of her hair. He felt her arms tightening around him. He pulled back to look at her and tucked a curl behind her ear. "Fiona, I..." The words formed a lump in his throat.

"You what, Michael?" She prompted, the warmth of her voice enough to melt the veil of ice that had formed in his chest.

"I love you." He whispered, his voice barely loud enough to be heard over the sound of the music, but the mist of tears that collected in her eyes was enough to tell him that she'd heard. "I have since the first time that you pointed a gun in my face at The Black Sands, and I know that I don't say it enough." She chuckled around a barely contained sob and nodded.

"I love you too, Michael." She replied, the ghost of her Irish accent tracing her words. He stopped the slow, methodic movements of his feet and placed his hands on her shoulders, running his fingers up and down the tops of her arms before reaching into his jacket pocket and dropping to one knee.

Fiona's eyes widened when he flicked open the black, velvet box. The diamond caught in the low light, the glint reflecting off of Fiona's eyes as a tear slid down her cheek.

"Marry me, Fiona." He whispered, his own eyes glimmering with tears. She smirked and nodded. He grinned and slipped the ring onto her finger and climbed to his feet slowly. He pulled her into a tight embrace. "Oh, God, thank you. Thank you." He whispered.

"I don't want to lose you again, Michael." She muttered into the crook of his neck. He winced again at the statement. He knew that he had hurt her, and he knew that he never wanted to put her through that ever again. He pulled back and framed her face with his hands gently.

"Fi, I will never leave you again. I am going to be here for you as long as there is breath left in my lungs. You are the most important thing in the world to me, and I am not going to lose you." He replied, placing a kiss to her forehead. She nestled her head into his chest snuggly.

"You know something? I cannot wait to marry you." He chuckled and pulled back to look down at her, his eyebrow quirked curiously.

"So that you can be my wife?"

"Well, that too, but mostly because I cannot wait to see Sam and Jesse in tuxedos." Michael let out a full fledged laugh and tucked her into him again, swaying to the rhythm of a new, faster song that had begun playing.

They danced long into the night until they collapsed onto their bed and made love under the glow of the low lighting. Hours later, while Fiona laid her head on his chest and snored softly, he realized something. His life had been plagued by the burden of his father's rage that had bred an aggressive passion in him. The only thing that he had needed to quell that deep seeded anger that had always been rolling like a tumultuous sea just below the surface, was the raging storm that was Fiona Glennanne.

As long as he had her by his side, there was nothing that could hold him down. That scared little boy that had been hiding under his covers when he heard his father coming in the front door was always going to be a part of his personality, but Fiona seemed to make it a little bit easier to deal with.

The feeling of her head laying over his beating heart was enough to remind him of the things that mattered most in his life. He would give up everything to keep her safe, even if it sent him straight to hell. He had never claimed to be an angel. As much as Fiona had tried to convince him that he was helping the world, he had never seen an angel strapped with a shotgun. If that were true, he was going to hide his broken halo, and do what needed to be done to keep her safe.

Michael Westen would fight for Fiona Glennanne until his very last breath, because love wasn't something to take for granted. It was a war, and he knew everything that he was fighting for and everything that he stood to lose because he'd lost it once before and it had nearly broken him. He was going to live out the rest of his life with his heart on a trigger so that he never had to lose her again. Ever.

They say before you start a war, you better know what you're fighting for.

Well, baby, you are all that I adore and, if love is what you need,

A soldier I will be.

Thoughts? Drop me a review and let me know.

Much love,

J. Rook