I wasn't too happy about their ending, so I made my own. No infringement of copyright intended, of course. I'll miss this show.

The Real Finale: A New Beginning

Samantha sat on the couch, elbows on knees, hands dangling, head hanging. It had been a long, crazy day. It was after 2 A.M. and the baby would be up in just a couple of hours. The wedding at City Hall had been simple and beautiful and proof that happy endings did happen sometimes. At least, they happened for some people. There weren't two any more deserving than Danny and Elena. After a congratulatory drink, the happy couple had blissfully floated off into their future. But, not everybody got a happy ending. Sam knew that and only too well. Here she was: an unmarried mother, home, alone, and dumped.

The final moments outside the bar had been awkward. Everyone was sorting themselves out and going their separate ways. She hadn't wanted to spend a moment alone with Jack right then. She couldn't even look at him; she just mumbled and took the next cab. They'd said what they had to say. Nobody could say it wasn't funny, she thought. They'd both been trying to break up with the other in the kindest way possible. No, they had never had their timing right. Jack was trying to do his best for Hannah; she was doing the same for Finn.

She had felt so guilty over their affair when he was married. That wasn't the kind of woman she'd thought she was. But, it happened. Then, it kept happening. She couldn't believe she was so stupid, but she couldn't imagine not loving him, either. It ended, of course, and painfully. That had been for the kids' sake, too. She'd thought it was a lesson learned, until he asked for the transfer. Then, she knew that it would never be over for her. She'd learned to hide it, to maintain their smooth working relationship, to sublimate all her feelings of love into those of friendship.

Now, she'd given him up again. Finn deserved a chance for a normal relationship with his biological father, she'd thought. That mattered more than anything – more than what she needed or wanted. She knew Jack must have felt the same about giving Hannah her best chance.

She sat on the couch, drained and too tired to cry any more. She'd told Jack that she wasn't sure how she felt. Well, now she knew. She wanted to go to bed or, at least, lie down on the couch; she wanted to sleep for a week; she wanted to never go to work again. Her mouth tasted nasty from the alcohol and the buffalo wings she'd eaten to soak up the alcohol and the snot that had drained down the back of her throat. She wanted a big ice-cold glass of water. But, that would require getting up. And walking all the way, all ten feet, into the kitchen. And finding a glass. It would mean that she was going on with her life. She wasn't ready for that, yet.

Because she just wanted to sit here and think of the man with the most beautiful brown eyes, the kindest face, the warmest hugs. She didn't want to forget the softness of his lips, the lightness of his touch along the line of her jaw, the heat from the arms around her. Or, the light in his eyes when he was being wickedly funny. What in the hell had she been thinking?

Her cell phone rang.

She was so deep in thought that it took her halfway into the second ring to realize what it was. She vaulted over the arm of the couch to reach the phone on the table by the door. "Don't wake up. Please, don't wake up," she prayed to the god of sleeping babies.

"Hello." She was a little breathless from the sudden activity. There was no answer from the other end of the line. Her nose was clogged and she thought she may not have spoken loud enough. "Hello," she said.

"Samantha. Sam, it's me."

She thought she felt her heart thump once, hard, and then, it returned to its normal reassuring rhythm.

"Sorry. Sorry to call so late." He sounded a little drunk. Suddenly, he spoke sharply. "Oh, hell, hope I didn't wake Finn."

"No," she said. "No." She didn't ask why he had called.

"Or you." He seemed to be having second thoughts. She heard him take a deep breath. "Sam, I'm an idiot. I don't know what I was thinking. I wanted to make up for everything, for the past, for all my failures. But, I never meant to end...us, our relationship." He spoke in a rushed voice now, as though trying to get it all out in one long exhale. "But, you seemed glad when you thought I was. It seemed easier, well, for you. And, then, it was done. And Viv came in. So, I thought …"

"Oh," she said.

"Hell, I know you don't want to hear this. But, I decided that I couldn't live with it, if I didn't tell you. Wasn't that usually the problem, my problem? I just let things happen, like the girls leaving, and just …accepted it and didn't say anything. I couldn't do that this time. I had to tell you this.

I have to tell you this. If you ever change your mind, if it doesn't work out, whatever. I'll be here, Sam. I'll still be here. For you and for Finn. I'm sure that Brian is a nice guy and he's Finn's father, but…."

"Brian? Oh, Brian," she said. "Brian had offered to move to a friend's house to get off my couch and I told him he didn't have to. But, I didn't realize that he meant he was moving into his new girlfriend's house."

There was a noticeable pause. He was quiet, but it was a very full silence. She could practically hear his brain whirling, shuffling through a variety of possible responses.

"Oh," he said.

She waited.

"I'm sorry," he said. "No. I'm not. I mean, I'm sorry that he hurt you, Sam."

"It's not his fault, really," she said tiredly. "I kept telling him that we couldn't be involved because I was already involved. And, I guess, he finally took me at my word."

He finally seemed to have righted himself, to have found his balance. "He had a chance for a life with you and with Finn and he takes off. What the hell is this guy thinking?"

"I met him in a bar and had a one night stand, Jack. What kind of a guy did I think he was going to be?"

"Oh sweetheart," he said, "I'm sorry."

"And he's not giving Finn up," she said. "Just me." She put her hand over her lips; she didn't want to let him hear her cry. He would probably never believe, now, that she had regretted her choice. He might always think that she came back because Brian left. But, she had to try to make him understand.

"Let's start over, Jack. Just push the rewind button. We'll wake up tomorrow and talk…."

"Yes," he said instantly and firmly. "Oh, hell, my phone's beeping. The battery's about to die. I'll just come over there."

"Wait, Jack…"

But, he had already hung up. Like hell, his battery's dead, she thought. Then, she smiled. Jack was ready for a new beginning.