Title: Surprise
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: none
Category: Romance
Keywords: Daniel Meade/Betty Suarez
Summary: It's Betty's birthday, and Daniel has a gift for her. 596 words.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Ficlet #2 for MDT, who asked for a story with Betty's birthday and a marriage proposal.


Daniel closed the outer door to Betty's house behind him, and paused with his hand on the doorknob. Betty sat on the top doorstep, and as he watched, he saw her shiver in a sudden cold wind that swept past them.

Inside, he knew, her family would be cleaning up from the little party they'd had for Betty, Justin perhaps picking up the streamers from the small poppers he'd used to punctuate the ending of "Happy Birthday," with Ignacio helping him, and Hilda was probably snagging an extra piece of cake, even after she'd said she was full.

Or, perhaps, they were at the window, watching him as he sat down next to Betty. He smiled at them, and waved. Caught, all three awkwardly grinned and disappeared from the frame. Ignacio was last and Daniel saw him mouthing something that looked like, "Go on," before he was gone, too. It wouldn't be long, Daniel supposed, until they were back again.

Betty smiled when he sat down, and laced her right arm through his left, cuddling close.

"It's cold," she said.

"Here," Daniel said, and moving his arm out from hers, he took his suit jacket off and draped it around her shoulders.

She put her hands in the sleeves and wrapped it tight around herself. She sighed, and then said, "Oh, such a long day."

"I'm not denying that," he said, and then asked, "Did you enjoy your party?"

"Of course. It's just that, with everything, I mean, I like surprises but sometimes, they can just be...bad--"

"Believe me, I know. At least, we made it through, right?"

"Right."

He raised his left hand, and caressed her cheek. She leaned into it, smiling gently. She laced her arm through his again and put her head on his shoulder.

Daniel said, "Do you remember when I said I had another gift for you?" He didn't wait for her answer, but continued, "Check my left coat pocket."

She reached in, pulling out a black velvet covered box.

He took it from her before she could open it, but didn't open it himself. Betty stared at him, mouth open.

She started to speak, but he held up a hand and said, "Just, wait a minute, I know if you start talking, my speech will go by the wayside, and I really want to say this."

She nodded, her eyes bright.

He said, "I know I'm not supposed to ask you like this." He turned the box over and over in his hands, not looking at her. "I should have taken you out for a fancy dinner, a play, something like that, but it didn't seem right."

He opened the box, taking out a ring with a stone that glittered in the moonlight. "Simple seemed better."

She said, "Oh, Daniel" and put her left hand on his cheek. He looked up, eyes serious and dark.

She smiled, encouragingly.

Daniel took her hand from his cheek and put the ring on her ring finger. "I love you, Betty. What do you say? Will you marry me?"

She bounced a little on the step, and then her arms went flying around his neck, drawing him into a hug. He laughed. "I'll take that as a yes."

"Oh, yes, definitely, yes." She gave him a smacking kiss. "Now, that, Daniel, was a good surprise."

"Better than good, I hope."

"Did I say good? I meant--wonderful."

Daniel kissed her in earnest, and somewhere in the midst, he hoped that the three watching in the window were getting a good show.

They were.

End.