Jack Malone quietly opened the door to room 312 of the hospital's maternity ward. He smiled at the sight that was waiting for him.
Samantha Spade was propped up on the hospital bed with her head hanging awkwardly to the side and resting on her shoulder, her long blonde hair falling out of her ponytail and pooling around her face and shoulders as she peacefully slept with her mouth slightly ajar.
Still in her arms, propped up by a pillow under her elbow, was a little pink bundle that was squirming ever so slightly, a wisp of blonde hair just visible between the folds of the blanket.
Jack felt a tug on his sleeve and he looked down to see the adorably sweet, blonde-haired blue-eyed son of Samantha looking up at him expectantly.
"Can we go in, Jack?" he whispered, longing to meet his baby sister.
Jack ruffled Finn's hair fondly. "'Course we can, buddy," he said as he hoisted the five-year-old onto his hip.
Jack took a step into the room, and then paused. He set the boy back down and knelt down in front of him. "Finn, can I ask you something?" he asked, whispering.
Finn nodded curiously, his head cocked to one side.
"Alright, buddy, here's how it goes. You know I love your mommy, right?"
"And you know I love you, too, right?"
He smiled and whispered, "I love you too, Jack!"
Jack smiled as he reached into his coat pocket. "Finn, will you give me permission to ask your mommy to marry me?"
Finn looked confused. "What's permission?"
Jack smiled, and after he thought about it for a moment, Jack said, "It's like when you want to eat a cookie, but you have to ask mommy first to make sure it's okay with her."
Finn nodded, understanding, and his blue eyes lit up. "So, you want to know if it's okay with me if you ask my mommy to marry you?" he asked a bit loudly in his excitement.
Jack held a finger to his lips, and he nodded, smiling at the little boy that he had grown so fond of in the past few years.
"You have to ask her!" Finn exclaimed as quietly as he could. "Will you?"
"Yes, Sir, I've got the ring right here," said Jack, pulling it out to show the little boy. Finn's eyes widened at the sight of the glimmering diamond.
"Do you think she'll like it?" Jack asked.
"Yes!" Finn exclaimed. Then a look of curiosity crossed his face, and he asked, "If you get married, does that mean you're my daddy?"
"Well... Finn, you know that Brian is your daddy," Jack whispered gently.
Finn frowned slightly. "Brian lives far away, and he never comes to see me. Mommies and daddies are 'pposed to be married, I think. So if you're married to my mommy, you have to be my daddy! Pleeeaaase, Jack?"
Jack smiled. "Well, buddy, I'll see what I can do about that. Sound good?"
"But first your mommy has to say yes. Should we wake her up?"
He nodded. Jack picked the little boy up and placed him on the bed beside Samantha. He crawled over to his mother, wrapping his arms around her torso.
Sam woke up slowly and then smiled at him. "Hi, buddy," she said, curling the arm that wasn't holding the newborn around her older son.
"Hi, Mommy," said Finn, looking at his baby sister for the first time.
"Hey, sweetheart," said Jack, bending over the bed to place a kiss on Sam's lips.
Samantha noticed the way that her son's eyes kept on darting to Jack, as though he was expecting him to do something.
"Do you want to hold your sister, Finn?" she asked her son gently.
"Can I?" he asked, his blue eyes wide.
"Of course," she said, shifting the baby to transfer her into her brother's waiting arms. Finn looked slightly nervous.
Sam glanced at Jack, about to tell him to take a picture, when she noticed that he was down on one knee.
With a gorgeous ring in his hands.
"Samantha Jane Spade, I know I've been an A-S-S," he spelled, just in case Finn was paying attention, "to you in the past, and I'm sorry. I know it didn't work out the first time or the second time or the third time or even the fourth time, but now here we are, and we've just brought our little girl into the world, and I think it's about time that you and I became a proper family. I love you and your little boy and our little girl more than anything in the whole world, and I think I need a chance to prove that to you, so... Will you marry me?"
Samantha smiled, tears in her eyes. Her hand was covering her mouth, and she nodded as she whispered, "Yes!" and Jack slid the diamond ring onto her finger. She admired it for a moment, and then showed it to Finn.
"I already saw it," the five year old stated.
"Oh, you did, did you?" Sam asked, looking at Jack. "You told my five year old you were going to propose to me?"
"He had to ask my p'mission!" exclaimed Finn, happily using his new vocabulary word as Jack snapped a few pictures.
The best one, in Jack's opinion, was the first one: Finn's excitement, the sparkle in Samantha's eye as she admired her engagement ring and she turned halfway to the side with her arm around her two children, and the baby opening her large brown eyes as if to peak out and say, "What's all the commotion about?"
The picture was perfect, because it showed exactly the family that he had always hoped for.
And although he would always regret his failed marriage with Maria and his lack of participation in his older daughters' lives, Jack couldn't help but think that today was just the start of something wonderful.