The Ring by BrianBach5
Category: General/Romance
Ratings: G
Disclaimer: DOC does not belong to me. No infringement intended.
Spoilers: Reveals the Ending for the Season Finale.
Summary: A missing scene between Tippy and Clint talking at the office and Clint meeting Nancy on the rooftop. My take on how he found her there and how he found a ring so quickly.

A/N: Hope you'll enjoy!

All characters of DOC are the property of their creators/owners and are being used for entertainment purposes only.

'You belong together…'

Tippy's words echoed in Clint's thoughts as he processed the idea that he still had a chance with Nancy. He had almost given up hope based on her comments in the park earlier that day, but now he had a glimmer of hope and….

What could he do at the last minute? They couldn't do the dating thing from half way round the world. He wasn't sure if Compassion International would allow him to follow her as just her boyfriend. "Stop fooling yourself", the voice inside his head shouted. "You've known her for over four years now and you've spent more time together between work and church and friends than most couples that actually were dating. You know what you want," the voice reminded him.

With a sigh he realized that his heart and his head were finally on the same page about Nancy Nichol: marriage, a life together.

But could he convince her of his intentions in less than twelve hours? If she really meant what she said earlier about 'the time has passed', then he might not only embarrass them both, but also ruin their friendship. But if Tippy was right, then the woman of his dreams (literally) would walk out of his life if he didn't give it a shot.

First things first, his father had always taught him that you didn't ask the lady until you asked her father for her hand. He just hoped that Paul was not with Nancy right now, or it would be very difficult to ask the question in front of her. Pulling out his phone he called Paul's number. "Hello Paul, this is Clint, can I stop by and talk to you in a few minutes?" Clint breathed a sigh of relief at reaching Paul so quickly. "Is Nancy with you?" Another quick prayer of thanks went up when Paul confirmed that he was alone. "Thanks, I'll be over to your shop in a few minutes." So far so good, he thought, as yet another prayer was answered.

Clint drove the few blocks over to the hardware store, praying that Nancy would not show up before he had a chance to speak with her father. He also hoped that Paul would have an idea if Nancy had really meant her 'our time has passed' words or if that was her way of avoiding a letdown from him.

Paul was just getting ready to close up for the night when Clint jumped from his truck and hurried to the door. "Hello Clint, if you're looking for Nancy she left about 20 minutes ago, but you can probably catch her…"

"No, thanks, I really wanted to speak with you about something important," Clint gushed out. His hands were shaking now that the moment of truth had come.

"Then come in and we can chat while I shut everything off," Paul replied with a mysterious smile on his face.

"Thanks," Clint said and sent up a quick prayer for success. "Actually I want to talk to you about Nancy, so I'm glad she's not here at the moment."

"What did you want to know about Nancy? You probably know her better than I do these days."

"Actually, I wanted to tell you that I want to marry her and ask for your blessing." Clint held his breath as he waited for Paul's answer.

Paul raised an eyebrow and looked at Clint for a minute. Then with a smile he chuckled and said, "That was what I thought you might say." Offering his hand to Clint he continued, "And there is no man on earth I would rather have in my daughter's life!"

"Whew," Clint let out the breath he had been holding, "I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that. Now I just have to convince her to say Yes."

"Why would you have to convince her? Haven't you already had this chat with her?" Paul asked with a puzzled look.

"Actually, no, I haven't. She and I did talk earlier today, but she went first and told me that she used to think about us that way but that now she thought our time had passed. After she said that, it didn't seem to make sense for me to tell her I was I love with her," Clint explained. "But now I'm not so sure I shouldn't have told her. I know that I can't let her leave without at least telling her how I feel and hope that maybe she still has some of those feelings for me."

"I can't believe that she really means that," Paul said. "I've never seen her as happy as she is when you're around and she has never been as close to any other guy, even ones that she was 'officially' dating."

"What do you mean 'officially' dating?" Clint asked.

"Well the two of you spend so much time together there were times I thought that you were dating, but Nancy always insisted that you were 'just very good friends'. And you've been there for her so many times you've gotten closer to her than any of her past boyfriends."

"Could she really just see me a really good friend?" Clint asked, more confused now than before he had come to the store.

"Let me ask you something that might clear things up for me. Nancy mentioned that you are, or were, planning on going back to Montana with that lady doctor. What happened to that plan?" Paul asked with a puzzled look of his own

"Well, Harley did want me to come back and take over the practice, and it would mean working with Sarah. But I turned that down when I realized how I felt about Nancy. That was what I had intended to tell Nancy earlier. But after she said she didn't feel that way anymore, I was sort of thinking about calling them back and accepting. I'd much rather be with Nancy, if she'll have me."

"That might explain why she told you that 'your time had passed'. She was probably assuming that you had already chosen Sarah over her and didn't want to hear you say it directly. She was never very good at painful goodbyes."

"I never thought of that. It was all occurring so quickly I didn't think about how it might come across to her. Well that gives me a better hope that she didn't entirely mean it when she said 'our time had passed'."

"No time like the present to find out!" Paul replied with another grin.

"You aren't kidding!" Clint said with his own grin. "Well one out of three things I need down, your blessing if Nancy accepts. Now for a ring and to find Nancy before it's too late!"

"I can't help you with the ring but I can tell you where to find Nancy. She said that she wanted to say her goodbyes to New York. Something about the sounds the city…"

"That means that she is on the roof. Good, now I know where to find her and I just thought of how I can cover the ring so I guess I'm set," Clint said with a serious look on his face.

"Then I guess it's in Gods hands, right!" Paul added.

"Right," Clint replied but with a small smile on his face. "Thanks Paul, I appreciate all of your help." He held out his hand. Paul took it and responded with a smile of his own.

"Don't let her get away, Clint. She needs you as much as you need her."

With a nod Clint turned and went to his truck. He turned on the engine and drove back to his apartment.

Before he went to the roof, he stopped at his apartment and opened the top drawer of his dresser. Inside he found the ring his father had given to his mother when they had become engaged. Harley had given it to him when he left Montana for New York to follow Samantha. "Lord, please let her still be on the roof and please let her say 'Yes'," he prayed to himself.

With that he went to the stairs and walked up to the roof…