Title: Prophecy Boy

Author: Jeanine (jeanine@iol.ie)

Rating: PG

Pairing: Tony/Michelle

Spoilers: General for Season Two, but no specifics

Feedback: Makes my day

Disclaimer: If it was in the show, it's not mine.

Archive: At my site The Band Gazebo (helsinkibaby.ahkay.net) Anywhere else please ask first.

Summary: Tony looks into the future

Author's Note: What came into my mind at the end of the second viewing of the season two finaleā€¦ pure fluff.

***

She goes down the stairs, the sweetest smile that he's ever seen on her face, and he can't stop a smile from forming on his own face too. It's been a hell of a day, they've lost some good people, some good friends, but they came through it, just as he promised her that they would. They survived a bomb, an atomic explosion, Carrie Turner, Ryan Chapelle and almost being thrown in jail for treason, but none of those things are uppermost in his mind right now.

Instead he's remembering the attraction that's been simmering between them since the first day he met her. He's remembering how she felt in his arms a few hours ago, how her lips felt against his. He's remembering how her hand felt on top of his in the holding room, how she stood up to him, stood by him when he tried to shield her from harm. She's a strong woman, and he likes that.

He likes her, and he can't believe that they've wasted so much time.

He walks to his window, looks down the stairwell to see her standing at her desk, jacket on and ready to go. She's going to go home, to get some rest, just like he told her, but as he looks down, she turns, looking up at him, their eyes meeting.

He's the Director of the Counter Terrorist Unit, an ex-sniper for the Marines, certified instructor in Krav Maga hand-to-hand combat. He is not a man given to flights of sentimentality.

But he looks down at her, and he sees their future in her eyes.

She'll go home, and so will he, and they'll both sleep the day away. They've earned that much. They'll rise tomorrow morning, come back in here, and go on with their jobs. They're going to be busy here, there's no doubt about that; investigations into the bomb, into Peter Kingsley's involvement with Sherry Palmer, into the Warners' involvement. There's going to be interviews and paperwork and more than likely a trip to Washington to testify in front of a House Subcommittee, something that he knows from experience is an ordeal comparable to anything that they've been through today.

But that's not what matters.

What matters is that sometime in the middle of all that, they'll do what he suggested some time in the middle of this hellish day. He'll call her, or he'll talk to her face to face, but either way, he'll ask her out on a date. She'll smile that smile of hers, looking down shyly, but she'll say yes.

They'll take a long time to decide on a movie, not wanting to see anything that deals with bombs, bullets and things blowing up. He'll object to a chick-flick on the grounds of sheer principle, and they'll probably end up compromising on a comedy of some sort. Afterwards, he'll take her out for dinner, some place nice with the lights down low and candles on the table. They'll talk, and if he's feeling brave, he'll take her hand across the table, just like she did today in the holding room. They'll linger there for hours before he takes her home, walking her to the door, and he won't want to leave her, but he will, kissing her as he leaves, telling her that he'll see her the next day.

The next day, she'll answer a knock on her door, see a delivery guy there with a bunch of flowers for her. There'll be a card, with his name and some sentiment or other on the card, and when she comes into CTU and sees him, she'll blush and look away and won't mention it in the office.

He'll ask her out again then, and they'll slide easily into dating, no questioning, no wondering about whether they're doing the right thing. They've been through too much today, come too close to losing everything, to go back now. At some point, they'll have the discussion about working together and dating, but they'll find a way to make it work; he has no doubts about that.

Eventually, he'll meet her family. He's looking forward to meeting her brother in more relaxed circumstances, circumstances that won't lead to him being led away in handcuffs. He knows that Danny has kids, doesn't know if they're boys or girls, but he'll find out when he meets them, when the words "Uncle Tony" become a staple of their vocabulary.

He'll hold her hand as they stand at the door of his parents' house, her smiling nervously up at him. There will be nothing to worry about though, because he knows that his mother is going to love her, that she'll fuss over her to no end, thrilled that her only son has finally found a nice girl to bring home. She'll tell him that he should have brought her home sooner, tell her that she's too skinny, that she needs fattening up, and she'll make it her business to do so. His sisters too will be interested to meet her, will pepper him with questions about her, will take great delight in telling her all the embarrassing stories of his childhood. He'll spend visits rolling his eyes, telling his family to quit, but he'll secretly enjoy the interaction, will love watching her become part of his family.

When the time comes, he'll spend hours trying to find the perfect ring, even longer trying to find the perfect time and place to propose. He'll go the traditional route, a diamond, dropping down on one knee, and he'll stumble over the words. She'll smile that smile again, happy tears in her eyes, but she'll say yes.

She'll say yes, and he'll be just as nervous on the day he stands at the altar, watching her float down the aisle towards him in a cloud of white. She's going to make a beautiful bride, and the sight of her will make his heart skip a beat, remove any and all moisture from his throat, and he'll have to swallow hard before he can even think about saying his vows. He'll get through it though, and they'll walk down the aisle together as man and wife, before dancing their first dance together in front of their families and closest friends. He'll hold her tightly to him, allow her to rest her head on his shoulder, and he'll feel like he's the luckiest man in the world.

Sometime after the wedding, or maybe before it, they'll decide that they need a house. They'll spend hours looking for somewhere convenient for work, somewhere where they can settle down to a life together. They'll see what seems like thousands of places, but nothing will be right until they walk into a house one day, and they'll each know, without knowing how, that this is it, that they're home.

They'll spend months fixing the place up, putting their stamp on it, getting it to look like their place, but their home won't be complete until they come home from the hospital, a tiny bundle in her arms, and they lay it down in the nursery, stand beside the crib and look down at this new life that they've created. He'll tell her that he loves her, and suggest that George or Georgina would be a perfect name, and she'll slip her arm around his waist and tell him that she agrees.

They'll fill the place with children, watch them grow and learn. He'll put marks on the inside of the kitchen door to chart their growth, ferry them to dance lessons and Little League practices, help them with their homework. They'll live through first steps, first teeth, first dates - though in a daughter's case, not until she's at least thirty - and when the children grow up and move away, they'll start preparing for grandchildren.

He sees their entire life together in that moment, and he imagines the look on their children's faces, their grandchildren's faces, when they ask how the two of them met and fell in love. They'll think they're making it up, but they'll just look at one another and smile. He'll hold her hand, look into her eyes and joke "When she was willing to commit treason with me, I knew it was love."

She'll look right back at him and remind him that she knew way before that, and he won't care, because he'll know that she's right.

He's reluctant to move, to do anything but stay in that future, lost in that moment, but the ringing of his phone brings him back to reality. Wrenching his gaze free of her, he goes back to his desk, bringing the receiver to his ear and says hello.

The words he hears have him crashing back to reality, to the present, and he knows that the future is going to have to wait.