Chapter Forty-Three: WARNING: Last chapter! Extremely fluffy!!

The next evening, at almost three in the morning, Jessica and Ryan were woken up by, possibly, the loudest wail ever made by a baby. It was hysterical, high-pitched and deafening. Yet Jessica and Ryan barely moved a muscle. Jessica rolled in closer to Ryan and whimpered. Ryan wrapped his arm even tighter around Jessica, but still, neither of them made to get up.

"I'll get it..." Jessica whispered. Ryan furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head, eyes snapped shut. He was all warm and cosy, henceforth Jessica would not be moving out of his grip.

"No, you stay here and..." Ryan groaned, fighting off a yawn. "I'll do it." His hand moved from her waist to her hip, gripping it slightly. Jessica swallowed and opened her eyes, slowly, greeted by Ryan's tee-shirt clad torso. She smiled to herself and sat up, disturbing Ryan's peace. She moved forward and locked lips with him before kicking her legs out of the bed, pulling the skirt of her slip down as she stood up. Ryan immediately shot up after her and started for the door. Since their 'talk' the day before, he'd been right in there, helping her out with everything. It was great, but Jessica would've liked it if he'd stayed in his bed for a while considering the fact that he needed rest just as much as anyone else. But still, he wouldn't stay put.

They crept down the hall, clandestinely, and meandered into Holly's room, where there was still the faintest hint of tears in the middle of the room. Jessica leant over the cot and smiled, speaking very softly. "Hey, hello, Holly. How you doing?" She pulled Holly up and out of the cot and directly into her arms. Holly stopped crying, but showed zero signs of going back to sleep. She didn't need changed, and she'd been fed not even three hours beforehand. She obviously missed people. Ryan folded his arms and fought off a yawn.

"Hello, Holly. You having fun there, ruining your mother's sleep pattern?" Ryan shifted forward so as he was directly behind Jessica, should she feel the need to lean against him, and rubbed his index finger against Holly's foot. Jessica rolled her eyes.

"Lies, Holly. You didn't ruin anything. He's only in a mood cause you dropped his cell phone." Jessica grinned at Holly. "Stroke of genius, by the way. Really. I admire your work."

Ryan raised his eyebrows. "Well, I'll be. She's clumsy. Wonder where she got that from." Sarcasm oozed from his every word; he'd liked that particular cell phone. It was easy to work, black, slidey, really expensive.

Jessica adopted a look of shock. She hadn't ever been clumsy. Too clumsy. Just accident prone, was all. "Hey, I think not. And anyway, she's only two months old. We can allow her a few weeks of clumsiness. Then we can start torturing her." Holly yawned and began playing with the strap of Jessica's slip. "Yes. Just can be our little minion. That would be good, huh?" She had made a conscious decision not to let anyone use baby speak to Holly. It would be wrong, and perverted.

"Minion, Jess? And that would make you, what, Hitler?" He rubbed his eye and grinned, short hair all askew from sleep. Or lack there of. Jessica flicked her fringe out of her eyes. She'd gotten her trademark raven-black-hair cut into a very attractive long bob, shorter at the back than at the front but leaving her with plenty of thick, gorgeous locks and a fringe, earlier on in the day, and hadn't stopped bouncing it around since then. At least Holly wouldn't be able to grab onto it as easily, which was a Godsend in itself.

Jessica scoffed. They had been particularly playful with each other, and it was amazing. "You see that, Holls, that right there," She nodded to Ryan."Is an ass." She glanced up at Ryan and eyed him up and down a few times before her eyes caught his. "But a loveable ass." She turned back to Holly, who's eyes had miraculously drifted shut once more. Jessica smiled and placed her back in the cot, pulling a lilac blanket up over her tiny self. She sighed, contentedly and paced back a couple of steps, directly into Ryan's chest. "Whoa!"

"Jess! Shoosh." Ryan furrowed his eyebrows. Jessica was about as subtle as a ton of bricks, sometimes.

"Sorry." She giggled, taking Ryan's hand and leading him out of the room, her eyes twinkling as they walked. "And you call me a Hitler."

Ryan chuckled and followed Jessica back into their bedroom. Of course, now that they were pretty much conjoined to one another, they would have to move house. Holly would not be brought up in a hovel. Jessica was already picturing herself in a nice, plain white house - absolutely dashed with windows everywhere so as the sun could pour into each room every morning - with a nice, fancy water-feature in the garden - without any ornate fish plopped onto it -, grass as green as a meadow and vibrant, violently-colourful flowers growing next to the newly tarmacked path. But that was at least a year or two away. They were in the here-and-now, where, after a few moments, Ryan and Jessica quickly settled back into their own positions; Ryan lying flat on his back while Jessica nuzzled her head into his neck with a surreptitious arm over his stomach. Jessica eventually drifted off to the land of nod and yet couldn't sleep at all. He didn't want to. He was too...alert? No, no, he wasn't alert. He was decidedly off, however. Jessica had noticed it that very morning. He'd gone out, suspiciously; came back, suspiciously; said a suspiciously small amount to her when they'd had dinner, been suspicious in every way possibly and, so far, the only normal thing he'd done was furrow his eyebrows and fold his arms constantly. But then he'd started practicing his OCD thing on her, cleaning things twice, tapping his fingers against everything and anything and, of course, closing things more than once. It had bothered her, and worried her, but she chose to ignore it; if there was something wrong, he would tell her. He always did. Little did she know that when he had left in such a suspicious manner, he'd gone to a jewelers. He'd bought a ring, a huge one, and hid it under her side of the bed. Since then, he hadn't been able to converse with her in a regular way. He had either been curt, or too flirtatious, never fitting nicely and snugly into the middle. Jessica stirred, bringing him back to his current thoughts, and Ryan furrowed his eyebrows, just about ready to jump out of the bed and run a mini-marathon. He was alert, as though he'd been up for three days straight drinking coffee non-stop. He was alert with thoughts of how he would propose, where he would propose and, gasp, when he would propose. It took him every fiber of his being not to get down on one knee as soon as he'd swanned back into the house. But he'd managed it well, he decided. He definitely would not propose to her by getting down on one knee- that was just cheese on toast. He wouldn't ramble on like a shmoe about how much he loved her and how beautiful she was; she already knew it. He would do it somewhere nice, peaceful and relaxed, dimly-lit...much like their bedroom. He turned his gaze from the ceiling, to Jessica and then raised his eyebrows. Nothing was stopping him from betrothing her to him at that very moment. He swallowed, smiled to himself and then twisted round slightly. "Hey, Jess?" He tapped her on the shoulder. Nothing. So he nudged her in a not-so-gently way until she groaned and pressed herself closer against his side. He half-smiled and propped his head up with one hand, examining Jessica closely as she fought to open her eyes.

"Mmph. What's up, Ryan?" Jessica shifted her hand from his stomach to over her own stomach, slightly irked by the shivery feeling of having just been roused from her deep, cosy sleep. Ryan moved closer to her, engulfing her in his arms. He kissed her on the cheek and quickly pulled back, clambering out of the bed and onto the floor in a matter of seconds. Jessica sat up, both perturbed and curious. "Ryan? Honey, what're you doing?"

"Nothing..." It was a muffled reply, from under the bed. Jessica arched her eyebrow and bit her lip. A few seconds later, Ryan stood up and shuffled back under the cover. "Put your light on a second."

Jessica maintained his gaze, but quickly flicked her own light on and stretched out while she was at it. No use in being excruciatingly exhausted when Ryan needed her. "Are you okay? Do you...want to talk, maybe?"

Ryan shook his head and turned to face her. He rubbed a small space next to his eye and cleared his throat. "Okay, you love me?"

Jessica raised her eyebrows and nodded. "Um...yes? Yes, I do. Course I do."

"Okay, Good, cause...well...I think that...we've known each other..." He paused, thinking deeply on every word, speaking slowly and quietly, his voice resonating throughout the room. "for a while, and, uh, we're been through a lot...and...I really," He sighed, lightly. "Really love you and I think..." He exhaled a long, slow breath that he felt as though he'd been holding for hours. He glanced down at the very small, very well-hidden box in his hands. Jessica was still looking him up and down with a curious gaze. She had no clue where this was leading to. She certainly wasn't expecting - nor was she able to predict - the next six words to emit from him: He leant forward, handed her the box and whispered directly into her ear. "I think you should marry me."

Jessica widened her eyes, looking down at the box with severe caution. 'Here, you should marry me' - the rest of his speech notwithstanding - wasn't exactly what she had pictured in her dreams, but it would do. She sat up, hair falling into limply her eyes, and grinned. She plucked the box from Ryan's hands and glanced at him before she opened it. She couldn't think on a single word to say, even though her mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts. "Oh, Ryan..." She squeaked out, willing herself not to cry. Ryan smiled and leant back against the couch. There was a pause. A moment of utter silence and then Ryan arched his eyebrow.

"Uh, Jess? Are you gonna open that?" He looked worried...or pained. Jessica glanced up at him, then down at the box, her eyes filling slightly with tears.

"I...Ryan, I...whoa." She shook her head, disbelievingly. Ryan cocked his head to the side, smirking to himself. He hadn't ever witnessed her like this.

"You okay?"

Jessica wiped a tear from her eye and nodded, grinning wildly. "Yes! Of course- I'm okay, Ryan, I'm better than okay, but..." She was shocked. Utterly, irrevocably in complete shock. She still hadn't opened the box, she noticed. She swallowed and made sure her fingers weren't shaking so much that she was completely incapable of looking somewhat in control. Just as she was about to lift up the lid, she halted and glanced up at Ryan, mouth slightly agape. Ryan furrowed his eyebrows as he watched her. "Ryan...just so as you know...before I open this box, yes. I would love to marry you."

Ryan opened his mouth to reply, but couldn't help but smile. "Really?"

Jessica nodded, letting her fingers get back to work on the box. As soon as the lid was lifted, Jessica knew she was in huge trouble. She gasped and tilted her head to the side. "Oh, Ryan." It was the nicest thing she had ever seen in her twenty-seven years on earth. A thin, silver band with a medium diamond in the middle of it, sparkling as though there was no tomorrow, with a few smaller diamonds encrusted around it. Absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. Jessica slid it onto her finger and almost melted onto the mattress. "Oh, my, God, Ryan." Her voice was just under a whisper, almost inaudible. Ryan shifted over next to her and examined the ring before she pulled him into the deepest, longest kiss imaginable. Their eyes locked and they each grinned at each other.

"So, uh...that's a yes?" Ryan smiled, feeling something akin to smugness and cockiness and true, extreme happiness. It was Jessica, definitely; she made him feel happy, made him laugh while, in turn, he did the same for her, subtly letting her know that he was there, keeping her warm, erasing out all the bad times and helping to give her all the good, prosperous things in life, easing her way through things, generally adoring her. In short, nothing had ever been better, nothing had ever been more perfect and neither of them would've changed anything.

"Definitely, yes, Mr Wolfe...and have I ever told you how much I love you?"

"Yeah, but you might have to remind me..."

The End...


A/N: Hola!

Okay, sorry for the long wait AND the cheese factor of the ending...sappy and all as it was, I kinda loved it! It's actually WAY better than the alternative ending which I'm SO glad I didn't post! FeelDaForce, I will still send it to you when I've gotten it finished, so no worries.

Ahh, okay, thank you SO, majorly, hunormously much to everyone that reviewed, alerted, favourited this story, I love ya'll dearly and I really appreciate your comments. Uhh...feel free to add me to the author alert thingy, because this is NOT the last of me on the CSI: Miami section :D


Michelle: Thank you SO much for being a constant reviewer...I truly appreciate it.

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Everyone else: Very sorry if I've forgotten you, but thank you SO much!

Okay, disclaimer stuff: I own Jessica, Florence and Holly Lucas, all the criminals - except for the chick that shot Ryan - and a couple of select others...ooh, Jake and Molly...I don't own CSI: Miami, Jonathan Togo, David Caruso or anyone else!! Much as I'd love to...

Please leave me a wee review...jeez, I'm really gonna miss writing this, actually! Tis very sad, LOL! Anywho...

Au Revoir, peace, love and unity, squee and stuff, have fun, take it easy, have a fantastic rest of the day: