Lindsay held little Nicholas Louie Messer in her arms after thirteen hours of labour, completely and utterly exhausted. Her little boy was a stubborn one, though with the parents he had, it wasn't a surprising trait. Danny had been there for the delivery and held her hand, regardless of how strong her grip had gotten. Finally he stepped into the room again, having just said goodbye to Stella, Mac and the rest.
Danny smiled at the picture Lindsay and his son made. He couldn't be happier. Or so he thought, until he felt the weight of the box against his thigh. He'd had it since the eighth month of their relationship but had never found the right time to ask. He knew that as her pregnancy progressed, any proposal would seem like he was trying to do the right thing by marrying his baby's mother, but she was more than that.
She looked up from cuddling her son with a ridiculously large smile on her face. So much had happened since her shooting. They'd argued over whether or not to move in together, ultimately deciding that not only was it cost effective, but it saved from carting their baby back and forth. Lindsay had done interrogations visibly pregnant, and Danny had blown up at her 'carelessness'. He'd dealt with her cabin fever when she was finally off on maternity leave. "Hey back."
He liked to believe they were stronger because they'd argued and fought. They'd been through some of the worst things a couple could experience and come out better for it. "You're gorgeous."
His compliments never failed to make her blush. "I look like hell." Her hair had been pulled into a hasty ponytail after the birth and she was attached to an IV with mild painkillers to help with the aftershocks. She wore a hospital gown and cradled his son in her arms.
"Nothing could be better."
She smiled before gently holding Nicholas out for him. "Hold him?"
Carefully he took the small bundle from his arms, mirroring the way he'd seen not only Lindsay, but Stella, Mac, Hawkes, Flack and even Sid hold the small life. This was the first time he'd gotten a chance to hold his son in all of the chaos.
"He's got your eyes," she whispered, tears gathering.
Danny moved to sit on the bed, cradling his son in one arm and taking Lindsay's hand in the other. "You know, Montana, there was a question I wanted to ask you."
Her keen eye on Nicholas she said, "Sure."
"Well, we've been through a lot," he started, flying by the seat of his pants. "We've been through shootings, through families, through who knows what else, but there are a few things that have stayed constant through it all."
She raised an eyebrow, not sure where he wanted to go with all of this. "I'm missing the question."
"I know we made our living arrangements permanent, but I want to make our relationship permanent." Finally he disentangled his hand from hers and delved into his pocket, pulling out the ring box.
"Danny," Lindsay breathed in surprise.
"I'm not asking you to marry me because of Nicky, I want you to understand that. I've had this ring since our eight-month anniversary, I just never got the chance to plan the proposal."
The tears that had gathered from before poured down her face. "It's okay," she promised. Then she locked her eyes with his. "Are you sure about this?"
"Totally, completely sure," he assured her, pulling the ring from the inside of the box with her help. "Marry me?"
Lindsay nodded, not sure if she could use her voice. "Yes," she finally managed on a sob. "Yes."
Once he had the ring on her finger she shuffled over to make room for him on the hospital bed. Making sure to hand Nicholas back to his mother first, so as not to injure him, Danny climbed on the bed, wrapping an arm around Lindsay's back and watching her cradle their baby.
Now he had everything he hadn't expected to have. If asked a year ago, Danny would have laughed at the suggestion that he'd be settling down, that he'd be engaged or have a baby of his own. He found that he didn't mind the drastic change in his life, nor the time span in which it had occurred.
Evenutally, after the nurse had come in to take Nicholas to the nursery, both Lindsay and Danny drifted off, thinking of their new life together.