A/N: OBIVOUSLY, this won't be happening with Molly going to see Daniel and all, but we Detty fans can pray, can't we? And we are, for Ignacio!
The situation seemed eerily familiar: rushing through the swinging doors, fending off people trying to calm him down or offer him assistance. He knew where he was going. She had been out of it for days, occasionally bursting into tears while she would be working on typing something up for him. Often, she would concentrate, take a few deep breaths and refocus, but every so often, she would make a dash for the ladies' room or to her friend Christina in the Closet.
Daniel rounded the corner and found the room quickly enough. He had not been running and that was about it. Betty had called him and sighed at the sound of his voice. She sounded so small and frail and scared. He knew he needed to be by her side and, when she had asked if he was too busy to talk before telling him to never mind, he was beyond certain that he needed to be with her.
Daniel found her sitting by Ignacio's bedside, holding his hand and casting quick glances at the monitor. His heart rate beeped steadily, but the sight of the tubes in his nose and mouth sent Daniel rushing back to when he had been by his father's side in his final hours. Forcing the bile down from both the memories the sight conjured and the idea of the lively Mexican nearing his final days, he sighed and went in.
"You didn't need to come," she whispered, sending a little smile over her shoulder and not even looking the slightest bit surprised by the sight of him. She took a deep quivering breath. "But I'm really glad you did." Tears hung from the corners of her eyes as she released her father's hand and accepted the big hug Daniel was offering her. "I'm scared, Daniel. He's been sick for so long… I think this is it," she said, her voice cracking as she spoke.
"I don't think so, Betty," Daniel said reassuringly as she moved back to her father's side while he stood behind her, his hand resting reassuringly on her shoulder. She reached up and covered his with her own before lifting her eyes to meet her boss' gaze. "Your dad is an amazing man and I don't think he'd let something like a heart attack keep him from walking his little girl down the aisle. I think he's going to be fine. Especially with you watching over him like this. You're his own guardian angel, just like you were mine during my time of need."
With their eyes locked on each other, they never noticed Ignacio's eyes open and watch the two intently. He had been drifting in and out of consciousness for a while now, opening his eyes for little more than a moment, but he had been merely asleep until hearing his daughter's voice and Daniel's name. Letting his eyes open a sliver, he watched as his daughter's boss crouched down beside her, holding her gaze.
"You're always there for everyone," Daniel murmured softly. "You're everyone's friend, guardian angel, strength… But is anyone ever there for you?" he asked softly and Ignacio could not suppress the tiniest harrumph of air at the back of his throat. They both looked at him.
"You're doing a pretty good job, Daniel," Ignacio said with a smile as he let his head roll to the side to watch Betty and him.
"Mr. Suarez, you're awake," Daniel whispered while Betty swiped furiously at tears and pressed the button for the doctor. She took her father's hand and Daniel's returned to her shoulder. She smiled at him for a moment before looking back to Ignacio.
"Si, I'm awake, and I've already told you to call me by my first name." They both sighed in relief at hearing the playfulness in his voice. "And he's right, mija; I wouldn't miss giving you away for anything. Te amo," he whispered and opened his arms for a light hug. "Is Hilda alright?" he asked his daughter and Betty nodded before pulling her phone from her purse.
"I'll go tell her you woke up, Papi," Betty said brightly and moved to the furthest corner of the room. In the meantime, Ignacio beckoned Daniel closer. The younger man approached the bedside and sat on the stool by the gentleman's side.
"Daniel, can I ask you a question?" he said gently and Daniel nodded. "Do you care for my daughter?" he asked and Daniel fell silent for a moment.
"Mr… Ignacio. There's nothing I wouldn't do for Betty," he swore, staring into the silvering man's eyes which sparkled remarkably brightly for a man who had just suffered a coronary.
"Then it's no imposition if I were to ask you to take care of Betty?" he questioned with a smile and Daniel's head dropped with a grin on his own face. "Did I ask too much?" Ignacio said quickly and watched as Daniel's shoulders bounced with a chuckle.
"No, sir…" he said, lifting his face with a wide smile stretching from ear to ear. "No, not at all. In fact, it's the push I needed," he confided in the elderly man. He sighed. "I love your daughter with all my heart. And I hope that, when the time comes, you give her away to me," he said slowly, watching the man smile and give a laugh before shaking Daniel's hand with a surprising amount of force.
"If that was your way of asking for my permission, Daniel, then you've got it!" Ignacio said proudly, a little louder than Daniel had hoped. She returned to the two men's sides and stared back and forth between the silver-haired man in the hospital bed and the dark hair man standing beside her with the most triumphant of smiles on his face.
"May I?" Daniel asked and, with a little nod from Ignacio, Daniel turned to Betty and cupped her face in his hands. She looked startled and Daniel wondered for a moment if he had planned a future for them together when she did not necessarily desire it, but when she softened beneath the gentle strokes of his thumbs over her cheekbones, he felt a glimmer of hope.
"Daniel?" she whispered, but he shook his head and pressed a finger to her lips.
"Betty Suarez, I'm in love with you," he said in one breath and watched as a myriad of emotions scurried through her eyes. "I have been for a long time and I just told your father who has given me the honor of his blessing." Daniel tore his eyes away from the woman in his arms and looked to her father. "You, Mr. Ignacio Suarez, are the only man other than my father whose approval has ever meant anything to me. To know that you trust me with your daughter is the single highest praise I've ever received and the only one that has ever made me this happy."
"No more excitement, or this man's heart my give us another scare," the doctor said, standing in the doorway and looking at the young couple embracing by the older man's bedside. "I'm very pleased for you both," the doctor said, walking towards the bed. "Congratulations. However, if the bride-and-groom-to-be want the father-of-the-bride at the wedding, I suggest they leave the man to his rest. I'm sure this is quite enough excitement for one day."
Betty gave her father a hug and Daniel went to shake his hand, but Ignacio tugged him into a hug as well.
"Welcome to the family, hijo," he said gently and all three felt tears well briefly in their eyes before they made their way out of the room.
As Daniel and Betty finally made their way out of the room and into the lobby, she stopped and looked up at him. He stared down at her and gave a nervous smile.
"Do you realize you've just been accept into the family and we've never even dated, or kissed and you still haven't proposed to me?" she asked with a grin that lasted only nanoseconds until Daniel leaned down and pressed his lips to hers, letting his tongue plunder her depths and force murmurs and whimpers of pleasure from her throat. His fingers tangled in her hair and held her against him until neither of them could breath and they reluctantly parted.
"That's one down," he whispered, kissing her temple.
"It'll do," she rasped out, nuzzling her face into his chest. Her hand rested against his pounding heart and she smiled up at him. "For now…"
"Way to go!" came a screech from the doors and Hilda came bursting in and threw her arms around the two of them in a bear hug. They laughed and hugged the Latina back, watching tears glisten down her cheeks. "Alright, so I'm really happy for you, but how's papi?" she asked.
Betty explained that he was fine and resting and that he had had enough excitement for one day, so Hilda decided to go and sit with him for a little while to give Betty a break. Closing the door behind her, Hilda left Betty and Daniel in the hallway, looking at each other.
"It's nearly six," he mumbled. "How about we go have our first date?" he asked and offered her his arm which she accepted and they walked out of the restaurant.
"Always taking care of me… Papi was right; you are my guardian angel," she said, resting her head on his shoulder as they walked along the streets. Daniel's eyes lifted to the sky and he sighed.