Author's Note: Okay, the story is over….no more after this. Whew I hope everyone enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun to write and great to hear you comments. I just love getting reviews. Don't think that just because this is the last chapter you guys can slack off:P (kidding….wellsort of).
Oh and Green Inkblot on the spelling of favourite…both ways are acceptable, Canadians and the British just tend to spell it "favourite", whereas Americans spell it without the 'u'. And yes whole cheesecake! (Does that count as a response? It was in the author's note.)
Numair and Daine sat comfortably on the roof of Numair's apartment building; which belonged to Numair; it was a perk of owning a penthouse suite. The night was cool and crisp and smelt faintly of the snows to come…a sign that autumn was nearly over. The sky wasn't illuminated with stars on account of light pollution, but a few distinct ones shined down on them.
They sat on a few chair cushions spread beneath them, blankets hung on their shoulders to keep out the biting chill of night. Numair sensed Daine shivering slightly beside him, he opened up his own blanket invitingly and Daine happily shifted under his arm. She was glad of the warmth.
He felt her head rest gingerly on his chest; Numair tightened his arm around her. Daine curled up tighter, tucking both feet beneath her. She remembered a point three years ago when her foot was incased in fiberglass for weeks. She smiled inwardly; now it was just a distant memory.
The night was silent except for the traditional noise of midnight traffic, and the occasional drunk making his final claim to soberness before falling to the side walk.
"It's really pretty up here," Daine mentioned after a while. "I never really looked at the stars before."
"This is nothing; the city dims most of the starlight. What you are seeing doesn't even begin to display its brilliance."
Numair nodded, "Wait until I take you out of the city, far away from the lights. Then you'll be able to see stars."
Daine snuggled in to a more comfortable position, "What's it like?"
Numair inhaled deeply, wondering how to describe the brilliance. "Well it's reminiscent of looking up into the heavens itself; the tiny points of light filling the sky. The stars look like little diamonds, strewn across the black velvet of night. Sometimes if you are patient enough you can even see shooting stars, announcing their brief existence with a streak of light. But the wonder of wonders itself is viewing the Milky Way, its arm stretching across the vastness of the sky, holding Cassiopeia…" Numair pointed to a dim constellation on the horizon, "…in a lover's embrace."
She yawned into his arm, fighting off fatigue, "That sounds beautiful, I wish I could see it."
"Maybe you will," he said nonchalantly.
Daine, sensing something else in his voice sat up with a new sense of alertness. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well…you are in your fourth year of university. Did you plan to stay in the city?"
Daine's eyebrows creased together in confusion, "Well, I…I don't know."
"What about Miri?" Numair asked, "Doesn't she have plans to move in with Evin?"
She has plans to marry the poor fool! Daine thought, remembering Miri looking at bridal magazines, in her own attempts at subtlety, which Daine found rather dismal. "Yes, they do plan to get their own place in the city for a while. But I think Miri wants to eventually return home to Newfoundland. There is a lot of research to be done there for a Marine Biologist."
"She aspires to work there?"
Daine laughed, "She 'aspires' to fix the Cod shortage out there."
"Hmm…revival of an entire species that has been suffering for decades; it sounds like something Miri would want to tackle," Numair chuckled. "And I don't doubt she'll do it either."
Numair reached a hand into his pocket and began to fidget with something, twirling it around his fingers. As he did so he began to talk. "You know Daine; we have been together for a few months longer then Miri and Evin…"
Daine was silent, eager to hear what he had to say.
"And there are jobs out there for you that aren't solely dependant on living here. At the rate you're going it looks like you will graduate with honors. And seeing as soon you'll be out of a roommate…"
"Are you suggesting I move in with you?" Daine interrupted the excitement obvious in her voice.
Numair shifted back and forth awkwardly, "Well, that's part of it, but I really wanted you to move with me. I didn't plan on staying in the city…" He pulled the sleek metal band from his pocket, flipping it over in his palm watching the diamond reflect the light from the streets below, and the white gold band gleamed in the moonlight. Numair grasped for her hand in the darkness, Daine didn't pull it back but let him continue. He fit the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand; it slid on like that was where it was meant to be.
Daine took her hand back and looked at what he had put on it. Realizing the significance of its placing and Numair's nervousness, Daine immediately knew what he had in mind. "Numair, is this….?"
He pulled away to get a good look at her, taking both of her hands in his. "Will you be my wife?"
At a loss for words all Daine could do was slump back and begin to cry, the tears coming slowly at first, but then making there way into a steady stream. She was shaking from the effort to hold back sobs. Confused Numair wrapped his arms warmly around her shoulders. "Sweet, what's wrong?"
To confuse him even more, Daine then broke into steady laughter. "I'm so sorry Numair, I really don't know what I'm acting like this…it's just, I have so much going on inside, it's just trying to find a way out." Daine dried her tears on the edge of the blanket, and managed to control the laugher. "What I'm trying to say is that of course I'll be your wife!"
To Daine's amusement, Numair jumped from the blanket and began doing something that Daine could only describe as some sort of jig. What surprised her more was when Numair took her by the hands and dragged her up along with him. He twirled her around until he lost his balance and when tumbling back onto the cushions, dragging Daine down beside him.
Numair rolled over so Daine was pinned beneath, she squealed to try and escape but it was futile under his muscular arms and the weight of his body, so Daine once again leaned back and went into a fit of giggles. She was silenced by his mouth on hers.
"So I guess that was the answer you wanted then?" Daine asked, wrestling away from his lips.
Numair rolled onto his back and allowed Daine to nestle under his arm as he caught his breath, "Definitely."
Daine let out a deep sigh, "What have I gotten myself into?"
Not willing to be out done, Numair added his own dose of teasing. "You? I have to spend the rest of my life next to a woman who snores."
"I do not snore!" Daine said indignation clear in her voice. He knew this of course, but had fun with it all the same.
Numair laughed and wrapped his arms around the figure curled against his chest and lay there staring up into the night sky. Daine settled beside him, too tired to keep up the game. It wasn't until Numair heard Daine's breathing turn into the slow and steady rhythm of sleep did he finally stir.
Gently he sat up, lifting her ever so slightly as to not disturb her from sleep. He managed to get up, cradling his love in his arms. Numair looked back at the arrangements of pillows and blankets considering a clean up but shrugged and just left them there. He was never a tidy person before, why start now?
Numair carried her down from the roof and back into the apartment, savoring the feel of her nuzzled against his chest. Walking into the bedroom he laid her gently on the bed, and pulled the quilt up to her shoulders.
Climbing in himself he kissed her forehead and turned his back to her, prepared to go to sleep. Daine was roused from her own slumber momentarily from the loss of him near her. She pulled him towards her, swinging one of his arms over her shoulder, and resting her head on his other open arm.
Numair smiled, and he tightened his grip on her, "Seems like you know exactly what you want," he said teasingly, his eyes closed and prepared for sleep. Daine didn't reply but he felt her shrug ever so lightly against his chest. Numair chuckled, and Daine could feel his laugh vibrate along her spine and down to her toes.
On the brink of sleep, Daine gently ran her fingers over the small diamond in her engagement ring; the rough edges of the diamond were companioned by the smooth cool metal that held it in place. She was entering a new stage in her life, one where she could put her past behind her and settle into a state of security and happiness.
Daine was amazed at how swiftly the past four years had seemed, how distant some memories felt, like the first time she met Numair, that fateful day on the subway.
It was like the changing of the seasons, they glide into each other, in a natural order and balance. The change is slow and subtle and goes mostly unnoticed, but it occurs all the same. The bitter chill of a winter's night is quickly forgotten in the basking sun of a summer's day.
Lying in the bed, Daine shivered and moved even closer to Numair.
And as the lovers slept, it began to snow.
Author's Note: …had to get corny in the end, had to end it with fluff. Well I'd like to thank all of my faithful reviewers who have encouraged me throughout the fic. It was fun to write and I'll miss writing it. Ah well I guess this just means that I better start brainstorming for the next one.
I don't usually like to look at the numbers, but I'm so close to 400….if you guys could just push me over the top?
Alright…one last time I ask you to review.