Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, but I can't help but have fun with Wendy and Hodges.

Author's Note: To those who have continued to read this story – thank you. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've had fun writing it. However, all good things must come to an end. I'd only intended this story to be 4-5 chapters to begin with. I hope you like how I've finished it.

X X X

David Hodges sat at his desk, pretending to work. So far he'd gotten little to nothing completed. Instead, he kept sneaking his hand into the pocket of his slacks and fingering the velvet box within. The plans had all been arranged, and his entire shift had been spent nervously going through the details in his head.

He frowned a bit as he thought over everything that he and Wendy had gone through – so much of it self-created, through miscommunication.

In the glass enclosed lab across from him, Wendy kept glancing at Hodges, watching the look of consternation on his face and wondering what was going on in his head. When he began to mutter to himself, she just stared, until Mandy walked by and laughingly said, "I think your lover-boy has lost his mind."

To which Wendy rolled her eyes and turned back to the microscope.

Even after all this time, she felt a little strange when people in the lab referred to David as someone so significant to her. Perhaps it was because at the office, she was at work, and work was something separate from her personal life. Maybe it was because they'd been through so much personal turmoil outside the office. Either way, it just felt weird.

Sneaking a glance once again, she watched him stare off into space, and she would have continued to do so if Nick had not come up behind her and asked, "So, what do you have?"

Forcing her attention back to the evidence she was working on, Wendy said, "Greg and I collected blood swabs from the spatter on the wall. We're waiting on DNA to run analysis. However, the current theory is murder-suicide. We'll know more once we dig into it a bit more." She couldn't help but sneak a peek at Hodges when she absently added, "We're waiting on Trace to finish some soil analysis."

"Good work, Wendy," Nick murmured. With a wave of his hand, Wendy watched the new graveyard shift CSI supervisor flipped open a file and began to read as he walked away down the hall.

A loud crash had Wendy's head turning rapidly, and she saw Hodges picking up the microscope that had just shattered across the tile floor. With a look of concern on her face, she stepped across the hall and lightly said, "Hey, what did that thing ever do to you?"

The rejoinder she'd been expecting came in the form of a mild "humph" instead of a snarky or sarcastic remark, as he picked up the parts.

Settling everything on his desk and thankful the larger portion of the soil sample he was analyzing still sat in a container safely tucked away on a shelf, Hodges looked at her. "Hey," he said.

"What's wrong?" she quietly asked stepping in front of him.

"N-nothing," he stammered, still so damn nervous about his plans. He'd spent hours and hours arranging everything. It needed to be perfect. In his mind he could envision his suit and her dress; the minister was ready to perform the service, and reservations were made at a small restaurant with the intimate table. Everything just needed to be right. After all she'd done for him over the time they'd been together he wanted it to be absolute… perfection.

But in typical Hodges form, he didn't think before he spoke.

"Will you marry me?"

No sooner were the words out of his mouth, when he heard his oldest son, Dave – who had arrived just seconds before – say, "Dad, you're an idiot. You don't ask mom to marry you in the lab of all places." Standing next to their seventeen year old son was their teenage daughter, Maddie, and their youngest child, eight year old Michael.

"It beats the first time he asked me to marry him," Wendy murmured, kissing her husband on the cheek as she fingered the worn gold band on her finger. "I had just finished working on a decomp and was trying to get the smell off of me when he walked into the locker room and asked the first time around." Smiling wide, she promised herself not to get weepy over the absolute rightness of that day all those years ago, when she said, "He yelled it at me through the shower door."

"Ha ha ha," Hodges replied, smiling at the picture his family made. God, they're all so beautiful, he thought in reverence and a bit of a prayer.

He watched humor fade from her eyes to shining contentment, an emotion he always felt to be highly underrated.

"Of course, I'll marry you, David," she replied.

"You're still taking her to dinner, though," Maddie warned, and turned in that manner that made all thirteen year old girls look a bit huffy and stubborn, with her beautiful long brown hair making a sweeping arc.

"Definitely," Hodges replied, sliding his hand into his pocket to once again finger the small container with the Mother's Ring… a gift with the birthstones of each child, and a reminder of their past, present, and… a future bright with possibilities.

"Good," their oldest son said. "I'm taking these two to a movie, and then we'll be out of the house for the night." Dave smiled wide at his parents and waggled his brows when he said, "So have fun tonight."

Which earned an "Ewwwwww gross!" from their youngest son.

David Hodges couldn't help but smile, though when Michael stepped into his lab, wrapped his arms around both his parents' waists and grinned up while chirping, "Happy tenth anniversary."