Disclaimer: I didn't own at the beginning, and reaching the end of this story did not make me acquire them (although that would have been fantastic!).
A/N: Here is the last chapter! It's kind of sad. Okay, now, I have to give some thank yous, so this will be a bit longer than my normal author's notes. Okay, first of all, a million thanks to my beta, Jessica237. I didn't thank her in every chapter like I should have, but I am thanking her now. I'm especially appreciative that she betaed this story, seeing as how she doesn't even really like this pairing. I'm especially appreciative that she beta's all my stories, since she didn't fill out a profile. Next, thanks to my reviewers. I didn't get as many reviews as I would have liked, but I'm definitely glad I got as many as I did. I have to give a special thanks to daxy and Green for reviewing all my chapters! Thank you daxy for telling me all my chapters were awesome, and thank you Green, for encouraging me to continue when I was thinking about deleting the story. You are what kept me posting chapters every day. And lastly, thank you to my readers. I know there are some out there who are reading but not reviewing and that's okay. I was once part of that group myself. So thank you so much for reading. It helps to know that people like it enough to read! I hope you all enjoy this last chapter!
Natalia was surprised when she heard a knock on her door. She hoped it wasn't anyone from the CSI team. Although she was sure they all wanted to yell at her, she didn't think they would do it so soon. In fact, she thought for sure they would wait a few days until they had cooled down some. She had hoped they would wait a few days, so she could manage a good story for them. When she heard the knock again, she realized she had no choice but to answer the door.
"Horatio!" she gasped when she opened the door. She really didn't want to see him right now. He was the one that would cause her the most pain, she was sure of that, and here he was, before she even had a good excuse to give him.
She didn't know what she was going to say, but she felt as though she had to say something. Technically it was his turn because she had already acknowledged the fact that he was here and had said something about it. Unfortunately her mind was not working correctly because before she could process the truth of that statement fully, her mouth was moving.
"I'm so sorry!" Natalia exclaimed. "I honestly didn't realize the harm I could have caused. I didn't tell her anything, but what if I had! I'm really sorry! I didn't mean to break your trust in me, and I understand if you want to yell at me, I just would appreciate it if you would do it quickly. Wait, I have no right to tell you that, I'm so sorry! Just yell at me in any way you want, and did I mention that I was sorry?"
"About twenty times," Horatio reminded her. "And you really didn't need to say it. You don't need to be sorry. You did nothing."
Natalia's eyes almost popped out of her head. "Really!"
"Really," Horatio echoed. "You did nothing wrong. You never told Monica anything bad about us. You only told her good things, which made her desperate enough to steal that money, which put her in jail, which made the whole lab happier. Without meaning it, you still helped us out, a lot! You got rid of Monica for us."
"So no one's mad at me?" Natalia asked, unable to believe it.
"Well…" Horatio stalled.
"I knew it," Natalia grumbled. "Who is mad at me? Well, I guess a better question would be: Who isn't mad at me?"
"You had it right the first time," Horatio informed her. "The only person mad at you is Valera. And really, she has no right to be, because after I told her you quit, without telling her why, she said that you were the best analyst the lab has ever had."
"Besides her of course," Natalia added absentmindedly.
Horatio raised his eyebrows. How had she known that?
"She always used to remind me of it," Natalia clarified, without Horatio needing to ask. "I'm going to miss that."
"She'll get over it," Horatio promised Natalia. "She'll die without someone to which she can spill all her gossip. She will be over it in a matter of weeks. But it doesn't really matter whether she is or not. You won't be seeing much of her."
"But you just told me I did nothing wrong!" Natalia cried. "You're going to fire me anyway? I said I was sorry, and besides, you can't fire me. I already quit!"
"I'm not firing you, Natalia," Horatio patiently told her. "I just want you to become a CSI, and not just an unsolved DNA analyst."
"What?" Natalia breathed.
"Monica was stopping you before, but now, nothing is," Horatio reminded her. "You will still be able to work with DNA, and if we find some on a case you will be able to run it. It will be great!"
Natalia bit her lip. There were still things that she was worried about, but right now there was another pressing question that needed to be answered. "How can everyone be okay with this? How can you want me to be a CSI, after all I did?"
"I want you to be a CSI because you will be amazing in the role," Horatio remarked. "You are amazing at everything you do."
Natalia couldn't believe she was about to cry. Horatio was here, asking her to become a CSI, and the gravity of it all hit her suddenly. She blinked to shove the tears back, but the blink had the opposite effect. The tears were now rolling down her cheeks and she was powerless to stop them.
Horatio suddenly noticed she was crying. He walked over to her and lifted her chin up with his left hand. "What's wrong?"
"I just can't believe you want me to be a CSI in your lab, after all this. I was an awful person, and here you are, wanting me to come back, and saying they all want me back…except Valera. It is just too good to be true," Natalia sniffed.
Horatio shook his head. "It's not too good to be true. It's just how we are."
Natalia began to shake her head, but noticed his hand hadn't moved, so quickly stopped the movement of her head; she didn't want his hand moving any time soon. She suddenly laughed. "I must look awful right now. I always look terrible while I am crying, and especially after I'm finished crying."
Horatio studied her face very closely, and then said something very, very out of character for him. "I think…you look beautiful."
Natalia's eyes widened again. "How can I look beautiful? I don't even…"
Horatio had placed his fingers over her lips. "Shhh," he whispered, and then replaced his finger with his lips.
Natalia gasped, but that didn't stop her from kissing him back. She was amazed that he was okay with them kissing, that he had actually initiated the kiss. She was really amazed that she was still thinking! She stopped any thought that was still left, and began to enjoy the kiss.
As soon as she started to enjoy the kiss though, her lungs were screaming for air. Ignore it! Natalia told her brain. Just ignore it! Natalia suddenly realized if she ignored it, she might pass out from lack of oxygen. Realizing how unsexy that would be, she quickly broke the kiss, took in a huge breath of air, and began kissing Horatio again, before he could react to anything.
Horatio broke the kiss, and began to laugh. "I have to breathe too, you know."
Natalia wrinkled her brow. "But that is something normal people do."
Horatio's face took on a confused look. "Okay, so what am I?"
Natalia sighed and smiled at him. "An amazing, wonderful man! A man who forgives without a second thought. A man who should really, really kiss me again."
To Natalia's dismay, he didn't. "You say I'm an amazing man? What makes you say so?"
Natalia pouted, but answered anyway. "Because you wanted me to come back to work in the lab…as a CSI…you have taught me that loyalty and friendship shouldn't be destroyed because of one wrong move. I have always been a rules kind of girl. Because I have worked at the lab, you have shown me that breaking the rules is okay, as long as justice is granted to a person in need. Besides, you are a pretty good kisser."
Horatio smiled. "You have only began to observe my amazing talents in kissing…and other things of that nature."
"Show me," Natalia whispered, unable to believe she was asking this of a man.
Horatio seemed to be in amazement himself. "Are you sure?"
Natalia exhaled slowly, to make sure she really was certain about this. "Horatio, in the past few weeks, I have felt different when it comes to you. Safe, and…unafraid. This could mean love, this could mean something else, but I know that I have to figure out what this new and different feeling means. Besides, I know you would never hurt me."
"I would never hurt you," Horatio repeated, making the words mean so much more by just saying them.
Natalia was quickly getting frustrated. She had been without Horatio's touch for at least a minute now. "Did I not just say that?"
Horatio smiled. "You did."
Natalia sighed in exasperation realizing he was teasing her, and enjoying it as well. "Teasing is not something an amazing man does."
"Then, maybe I'm not the amazing man you thought I was," Horatio teased, fully enjoying this.
"You said you had amazing talents in kissing, and other things of that nature," Natalia reminded him, her voice getting low, and driving Horatio crazy. He suddenly couldn't figure out why he was waiting so long to kiss her.
"I do remember saying something like that," Horatio felt the need to clarify, before he kissed her again.
His lips were suddenly on her mouth, and when he dragged his lips along her jaw down to her neck she breathlessly choked out, "Show me."
Well, my friends, that's it. I don't know if I can rightly classify this story as romantic, seeing as how I only got a serious kiss in at the end and no M scenes at all, although there was insinuation. Of course, it wasn't suspenseful, or angsty, or anything else. I don't know…what did you think? Did you think Horatio was in character, up until the end? Did you like the story in general? Were you angry at how long it was and there was only one H/N kiss? Please review. I really need answers to these questions, and since this is my first multi-chap for this ship, my only story for this ship, I have to know how I did! Anyway, enough of my rambling, basically I'm saying, please review!