Epilogue

Okay guys, this is it…excuse me, had to wipe my eyes. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it's an ending that you're happy with. =) I'm so very happy that this story has done so well, it's gotten 150+ more reviews than the first story. =)

'Italics' are memories.

Enjoy! =)


Eliot shook his head yet again at the ridiculousness of the feather boa.

Her hair swept up in an intricate array of curls, decorated with purple, gold and green feathers; her purple scarf dress fluttering around her knees and several strands of colorful beads bouncing around her neck, Eliot watched his fifty three year old wife move in time to the loud music with a smile on her face as if she were in her twenties; all the while waving that god awful multi colored boa around.

Chuckling, he watched as she twisted the hand of a man that had thought it would be a good idea to grab her ass, and then continue to dance as if nothing had happened. He couldn't really blame the guy, his wife was very attractive. So much so that she constantly got mistaken for being a good ten years younger than she really was. Due to the constant workouts they did even though they were now both retired, her body was still nicely toned and since she took excellent care of her skin, it was still as firm as it had been in her late thirties. In fact, the only real signs of her true age were the faint crow's feet around her eyes. (AN: It is possible to look this good at 53, my 55 yr old aunt looks nowhere near her age.)

Thankfully, due to the care he had always and still did take with his body, he was still in great shape as well. And while he wasn't as cut and defined as he had been in his thirties, he had in no way let himself go, due to the work he now did running a gym that trained fighters for MMA competitions. Sarah at least still seemed pleased with what she saw, and in his eyes, that was all that mattered.

"You in there somewhere?" a voice asked him teasingly.

Looking down he saw his wife's smiling face staring at him. "Yeah, just admirin' the view," he teased, gesturing to a nearby group of college girls, flashing the men on the floats for more beads.

"Really?" she replied, eyebrow raised. "Alright, I'll leave you to it then," she said, pulling away. "There are several handsome men here ta talk to. It is Mardi Gras after all," she informed him flippantly.

His eyes darkened and she had barely made it two steps before he had grabbed her and pulled her back flush against his chest. "Don't think so sweetheart. You're mine," he growled softly in her ear, sending a shot of electricity down her spine.

"They say your memory is the first ta go when you get older, so you may have to remind me," she purred in reply.

It took them all of ten minutes to get back to their hotel room. (For any who question this: I see no reason why a 50 year old married couple should not be havin' sex.=P)

Two hours later, as they lay in bed, a jumble of nude limbs entwined with each other, sublimely worn out and happily satiated; Sarah noticed that Eliot was acting a little distant.

"Thinkin' about tomorrow?" she asked knowingly with a gentle smile.

"No," he answered, even though she knew he was lying.

"You've had years to prepare for this El."

"I know…it's just…"

"You're still not ready…I know," she told him, leaning up to kiss the corner of his mouth. "We need to sleep, our flight's early," she murmured, snuggling into him.

"Good night sweetheart," he whispered, kissing her hair, before falling into an uneasy sleep.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

"You need to hurry it up guys," Valerie hissed into her comm. "I'm losing him."

"Just a little bit longer," Cam replied as his fingers flew across the keyboard. "Their security's pretty solid," he explained, going off into a long technical explanation.

"Quit spouting geeky shit and get on with it," she snapped under her breath. "This party's boring as hell."

"No need to be crabby Val…I'm the one that had to hang off the side of the building," Lily murmured as she worked the combination of the safe.

"Yeah, but you like that shit Lil," Cam countered. "Got it!" he exclaimed happily, plugging the usb stick into the computer. "Lil…you almost done?"

"Sure am," she replied with a grin as she opened the safe. "You wouldn't believe what he has in here."

"You're just supposed to get the client's money Lily," Jason reminded her.

"I know," she answered with a sigh. "But he's evil…he doesn't deserve to have such pretty things."

"Lily…"

"I promise I'll sell it and donate the money," she offered. And after giving his consent, she happily grabbed the pouch and the money before closing the safe.

"Could you guys hurry the hell up," Val snapped. "Our guy just excused himself and is heading to the elevators."

"Damn Val…you're losing your touch," Jason mocked.

"Shut the hell up and go find something to punch," she retorted.

"Be lucky that I don't make it a practice to hit stuck up bit…"

"Guys…enough!" Cam ordered. "Lily…Davidson is headin' your way…get to the stairs, out the door, to your left and take a right at the end of the hall."

"Why can't I take the elevator?"

"They're locked down for the party and the only one still runnin' is the one Davidson is comin' up on," he explained.

"What about the service elevator?"

"Requires a key card…Jay, I need you to…" turning, he found that Jason had already taken off running to the nearest stairwell.

"On my way Lily…Cam, lead me to her," Jason ordered as he took stairs two at a time.

Briefly hiding in a supply closet so their mark wouldn't see her, Lily quietly crept out moments later and sped around the corner only to stop short as she was met by a guard with a gun.

"Hey, how ya doin'?" she asked in a friendly tone.

"Sir, I found the intruder," he said, speaking into his comm.

"I'm really very sorry," Lily told him suddenly.

The man snorted. "An apology isn't going to help you."

"No…not about that."

"Then what…" a tap on his shoulder had him turning around, but before he could register anything, he was on the ground due to the haymaker Jason landed to his head.

Leaning down briefly to place a hard butterscotch candy on his chest and take his key card, she skipped forward to place a quick kiss on Jason's lips. "What took you handsome?" she asked before walking past him to the stairs.

Shaking his head, he followed. "Woman, you're going to be the death of me," he muttered. "She got a key card…where's the damn elevator?"

"Exit the next floor down and I'll lead you to it. I'm done here," Cam answered as he unplugged the usb stick from the server computer and switched his attention to his netbook.

Once there, the elevator seemed to crawl at a snail's pace as it descended twenty floors to the freight room. Lily took the time to admire the man across from her, smiling at the familiar blank mask he wore on jobs, which was the complete opposite of his playful nature. At 6'4", he dwarfed her petite 5'5" frame, but somehow they fit. His dark brown wavy hair that always looked tousled hung just above his shoulders and with his green eyes contrasting against the bronze of his skin, a gift of his Hawaiian ancestry, he was absolutely beautiful and she was constantly amazed that he was hers. (AN: Jason Momoa, look him up…yum.)

"Shit…we have a problem," Cam announced. "The guard you took out was found. They're searchin' for you guys, be careful. I'm headin' back to the van. Val, meet me there…we'll meet you guys at the back door," Cam informed them as he packed up.

When the elevator doors opened, they were relieved to find no one waiting for them. However, that changed when halfway to the door, they heard guns click behind them.

"Turn around," they were ordered.

Once they had, Jason quickly looked over the two men that had found them. "Lily…"

"Gotcha," she replied, and then as agile as a cat, flew behind the nearest stack of boxes.

Before the men could even react, Jason spurred into action, quickly disarming the first man and knocking him back to engage the second. Having been trained most of his twenty six years in Aikido, Jiu Jitsu and Muay Tai, his medium frame moved in a graceful, deadly dance as he landed disabling blows aimed at putting them down as quickly as possible.

The sounds of fighting made Cam wince. "Oh man. Guys, try not to get injured," he pleaded. "Mom and Aunt Sophie will kill us all if you guys show up tomorrow bruised and bloodied."

"Please…give me some credit…there's only two of them," Jason replied as the last guy fell to the ground.

Five minutes later, just as Cam and Valerie were starting to worry, the van door slid open and they jumped in.

"It's about time," Valerie snapped.

"Like to see you do my job princess," Jason growled.

"Play nice," Lily said in a placating voice as Cam pulled out onto the street. "You did great," she said with a bright smile, pulling him in for a kiss. "For your info Val, I had to blow the back door…there was a keypad."

"Where did you…never mind," the grifter said, waving it off, not really wanting to know where Lily had hid explosives on her person.

"How bout we get a drink to celebrate?" Cam suggested.

"I had other things in mind," Jason murmured in Lily's ear.

"Uh ah…I don't think so," Valerie piped in. "You know the rules. Anyway, our flight leaves in three hours and we still have to hand over the money and blueprints to the client. And when we get there, Ashley and I are taking her out. You'll see her tomorrow," she finished, earning a pout from Lily and a dirty look from Jason.

Lily snugged against Jason and leaned up to whisper in his ear. "Don't worry, we'll make it up tomorrow night," she promised, getting a chuckle in return as he pulled her closer.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Sarah's hands tightly gripped the armrests while mild turbulence caused the small plane to shudder as it made its final descent into the Key West airport. Eliot discovered long ago that even though she had no problems with large commercial flights, due to their crash years ago, small planes and jets still unnerved her. Reaching over he grasped her hand and squeezed it in comforting reassurance, being rewarded when she visibly relaxed and let out a slow breath, offering him a shaky smile.

Once landed, if it hadn't reminded him of the memory, the speed in which she exited the plane would have made him chuckle. As he waited for their luggage to be unloaded, he watched with amusement as his wife laughed at an overexcited Parker, running toward her. Even nearing fifty, while a little bit slower, their thief was still more agile and active than a lot of others her age were. Still as strange as ever, she had retained the ability to look at the world like a child at times.

When he finally walked over to them, luggage in tow, hugs had already been traded and Sarah and Parker were talking excitedly about the day to come. He and Hardison fist bumped before the hacker took one of the bags.

"How was New Orleans man?" Hardison asked as they made their way to the car.

"Food was great. Pretty relaxin' actually…until Mardi Gras that is. Too many people," Eliot remembered.

"Imagine that, you…not a people person," Hardison chuckled.

"You can't keep her away that long again," Parker stated suddenly. "Did you bring me any beads?" she asked Sarah, her arm around hers.

"Yeah…I got you plenty."

"We were only gone for a month," Eliot defended. "Where's Kylie?"

"Exactly," she proclaimed as if he had proven her point. "And don't try to change the subject."

"Helpin' Sophie with Lily," Hardison answered for him.

Eight years ago while vacationing at Disney world, a six year old girl had tried horribly to lift Hardison's wallet. One look into the little girl's big, chocolate eyes and Parker was hooked. An investigation into the whereabouts of her parents showing that she was an orphan had her and a willing Hardison signing adoption papers two months later after receiving a very enthusiastic response from the little girl when asked if that's what she wanted. Two weeks later, Parker abruptly announced that they were getting married because 1) Kylie needed a mom and dad, and 2) Parker was curious about eloping in Vegas. So while Anne watched the kids, the adults went to Vegas and witnessed their hacker and thief get married in the Little White Chapel wearing sneakers on their feet and smiles on their faces.

As soon as they made it to the hotel, Sarah and Eliot were separated and taken to different rooms set up for the men and women. Upon entering Lily's room, Sarah was bombarded by the sounds of everyone rushing around attending to different things.

"Mama!" Lily exclaimed, lunging forward to hug her. "Save me…please! They've gone insane," she pleaded with wide eyes.

"What do you…"

"Get back over here right now young lady," Sophie ordered, moving forward to grab her shoulders and direct her to a work station. "Hello sweetie," she greeted briefly in Sarah's direction. Sarah chuckled as she watched her little girl get attacked by three different women performing different tasks.

Sarah's eyes wondered over the room to see Val, Emma, Amanda and Lily's best friend Ashley sitting at work stations being worked on as well, and she barely had a chance to wave at them and hug Kylie, before a woman walked up to her and began pulling her to yet another station. "You're the mother…correct?" she confirmed, seating Sarah in a chair. "My name's Charlotte, I'll be doing your hair and makeup," she explained as she got to work. Sarah settled in and began mentally preparing herself for the day.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Two hours later found Eliot walking down the hallway to the girls' room, his job being to tell them that it was time to go.

"Get your shit together Spencer," he muttered to himself. "You liberated Croatia for god's sake, you can do this," he assured himself as he knocked on the door and waited. And then immediately froze upon seeing his nineteen year old little girl standing there in her wedding dress.

He couldn't do this.

"How do I look daddy?" she asked with a wide grin as she turned to him expectantly.

The satin and silk strapless dress flowed over her small form in an A Line style, the handkerchief skirt ending around her upper calves. The ruched bodice sported a scattering of small crystals, and in true Lily fashion, the skirt had hand sewn butterfly appliques in an opalescent fabric, running from the hem to the top of the dress in a flight pattern of color. With her hair done in an intricate mix of braids and curls, up and away from her face, only a small amount of makeup, a diamond encrusted butterfly tiara nestled on her head, and a pair of strappy heels wrapped around her feet, she was absolutely breathtaking.

But all he saw was his thirteen year old little girl.

"Daddy…how do I look? Be honest," she asked nervously as she looked up at him with unsure eyes.

At thirteen she was already a sophomore in high school. Having left the decision to skip grades up to her, he and Sarah had been worried about the teasing she might encounter from being so young. But Lily proved yet again, that she was not like anyone else, when only two weeks into her freshmen year, she had already charmed most of the football team, a score of girls and had her own protective guard against any stupid enough to bother her.

Two weeks prior she had come home jumping around as if on a sugar high as she explained that she had been asked to the junior prom by a guy at school that she liked. Hackles immediately raised, Eliot was ready to hunt the boy down and have words, but was stopped as Sarah started celebrating with her and talking about where to buy her dress. Still didn't mean he wasn't gonna speak with the boy when he came to pick her up though.

"You look beautiful princess," he assured her as he appraised the spaghetti strapped, knee length, silk creation; the shade of blue matching her eyes perfectly.

Brought back to present, he was met with an amused expression on his wife's face.

"You look beautiful princess," he managed to say. "It's still not too late to make him disappear," he offered hopefully.

"Daddy," she drew out with a chuckle.

"I take it you were sent to get us?" Sarah asked as she walked up to him.

"Yeah, the guys have already left. I'm gonna ride with you. Lookin' pretty good yourself Mrs. Spencer," he complimented, taking in the sleeveless, icy pink, chiffon dress that had an asymmetrically draped neckline and a ruched side seam that draped her form perfectly, ending right under her knees.

"I'm flattered, but I'm married," she teased, leaning in for a quick kiss.

"Okay everyone, it's time to leave," Sophie announced.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

The wedding venue had Lily written all over it. She had spent months with Sarah and Sophie, trying to find something that fit her personality, and after four months of searching was happy to discover The Key West Botanical and Butterfly Garden. Surrounded by lush greenery, a vast array of colorful flowers and the dozens of butterflies flying around, the only decorations to be found were the hot pink fabric runners leading down the small isle and the pink and white rose petals scattered on the ground leading to an archway that was covered naturally with wild grown flowers and ivy.

"It's time daddy," Lily said, putting one of her arms through his as the other held her bouquet of stargazer lilies.

Proving yet again that the wedding had her personality all over it; instead of the traditional wedding march, the instrumental version of 'Storybook Love', the theme from her favorite movie, The Princess Bride, began playing instead.

Hesitancy filled him, and as if knowing exactly what he was thinking, Lily murmured, "He's a good man daddy…just like you," and then squeezed his arm, causing him to smile as he began slowly leading her down the aisle.

There were only thirty people in attendance; all but a few of which were family. Jason's last living relative had been his uncle who died two years ago, so they were all Lily's. Not having been able to decide on a maid of honor, Lily had five bridesmaids instead. Val, their grifter, her wavy black hair and dark eyes standing out against the paleness of her skin; Emma, who at twenty three was an exact replica of her mother when younger, with her elfin frame and long, brunette hair; Ashley, Lily's best friend and the first person to have welcomed her on her first day of college when she was only fifteen, was the quintessential blonde bombshell, with her thick honey blonde hair, blue eyes and curvy form; and Kylie, the newest addition to their family, who could have passed easily for Parker at fourteen, if not for the chocolate eyes.

Lastly was Amanda, the Greek beauty who had captured her brother's heart a year ago. Having met on their first job, her father had come to them for help in proving that the company he worked for was cheating their clients out of their money. Quiet spoken, but quick witted and sharp of tongue, it was no wonder she had caught his eye, especially with her tanned skin, sandy brown locks and bright chocolate eyes.

All of her sisters, as Lily called them, stood smiling in cocktail length, spaghetti strapped, dark pink dresses, holding their bouquets of pink calla lilies and white roses. Cam, being chosen by Jason to be his best man, stood proudly, hands clasped in front of him, looking quite handsome in a dark gray, tailored blazer and slacks, and a white button up that was open at the neck.

But for all Lily cared, no one else existed except the gorgeous man staring at her expectantly with a smile on his face. Not one for dressing up, but wanting to look good for her that day, Jason was dressed like Cam, except for the added dark gray vest that was buttoned up and showing clearly due to the unbuttoned blazer. Hair pulled back, he wore around his neck, a necklace of earth toned, rough beads on a black cord; it was the very first thing that Lily had ever given him.

Before he knew it, Eliot was standing in front of Hardison, who Lily had requested to perform the ceremony as he had done for her mother and father.

"Who gives this woman away?" Hardison asked.

Pausing, he took a moment to look at Lily before turning back to the hacker. "Her mother and I do." And with an amused but understanding look from Hardison, he went to sit next to Sarah, who immediately took his hand and squeezed it. His mind drifted to the past as the ceremony began, remembering the first time he met Jason.

After spending a month in the hospital when he was forty eight after a con that had gone south, and a heated argument with Sarah over how she thought it was time for him to retire, he finally relented. Having been older than any other in his line of work, he realized that he was actually relieved at the decision. Sophie had convinced Nate of the same eight years earlier and Parker and Hardison only ever did the occasional 'easy' job, since Parker was determined to give Kylie a stable home.

But being someone who was not used to being idle with his time, he busied himself with finding something new to do. They had only been in New York for a year, having moved after too many of their enemies began tracking them down. Having relied on each other for so many years and becoming such a tight knit family left them unwilling to live in separate parts of the world. So he began searching…for what he didn't know at the time, but thankfully found two months later in the form of a gym that the owner was trying to sell due to financial burdens. He bought it, cleaned and remodeled it, and updated all the equipment before reopening it a month later, as a place to train fighters for MMA fights. It allowed him to continue doing what he loved, but stay safe.

Jason walked through his doors five years later.

At twenty four, Cam was already 'helping' people as much as possible, strictly sticking to simple computer cons since it was just him. Having graduated from MIT top of his class, he created a business for himself as a cover, creating websites and security for companies. Lily was in her last year of college, determined to finish as quickly as possible so she could start doing cons with Cam, but keep her promise to her parents to graduate first.

Eliot remembered how Jason began coming in regularly three times a week to train. And train he did, very hard. So much so that he grabbed Eliot's attention enough that the hitter himself began showing him things. It was shortly thereafter that Cam came to his dad for help, telling him of a con he was working on that would require him to get into the building which would have several guards posted. Now being good at fighting from Eliot's training, he was still at heart, a hacker and wouldn't be able to do it alone. He needed a hitter.

When Jason came back in two days later, with some carefully chosen words, Eliot asked if he was interested in a job. Eliot knew the signs of someone at the beginning of the career he had just retired from, and since he knew the boy wasn't there training for MMA fights, it was no surprise that Jason knew what he meant and wanted to know how much it paid.

The next night, after a very successful con, Cam walked in, laughing and talking with Jason as if they had been friends for ages. From that point on, Jason was their new hitter.

Two weeks later, Lily came home for Christmas break, and since Jason was coming over frequently by then, having pretty much been adopted by Sarah, it became the first time they met. And Lily was immediately smitten. Jason had been a little put off by her overactive, friendly personality at first, not use to being around people like her, but gradually, like everyone else that met her, she grew on him. Still two months away from her eighteenth birthday though, he waited.

"He asked me out daddy!"

"Who did?"

"Jason," she explained with a smile.

"What? He's twenty five…too old for you," he insisted.

"I thought you liked him?" she asked confused.

"I do, but…"

"Oh, you're being the protective dad! Don't worry daddy, he's a gentleman," she declared, skipping away with a smile.

XxxxxxxxxX

"He told me he loved me mama!"

"He what?" Eliot asked, choking on his beer as he entered the living room.

"You heard her," Sarah answered with a smirk.

"It was so romantic. He got pineapple pizza from Villa Pizza and rented out my favorite putt putt place," she gushed with a radiant grin.

"That's romantic?" Eliot asked in confusion.

"It was to me," she murmured dreamily.

XxxxxxxxxX

"Say that again?" Eliot asked, his expression growing darker.

"I would like to ask your permission for Lily's hand in marriage," Jason repeated.

In the back of his head, Eliot was impressed that the boy had come to him. But on the other… his little girl was only nineteen.

"Sit…now," he ordered. Once Jason had sat down across from him, Eliot leveled him with a steely glare. "Why now? Why not wait a coupe of years? You've only been datin' a few months. Or is there somethin' I don't know?" Eliot asked darkly.

"No sir, you're right, we've only been dating four months. But I love her and I know that she's the only one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I don't believe in wasting time when no one knows how long we have," he explained. Respecting his answer, Eliot sighed.

An hour later, after assuring him that she would be well taken care of due to the investments Cam had made for him with the money he had made, and agreeing with Eliot that should he hurt her in any way, the former hitter had permission to torture him, Eliot agreed, albeit reluctantly.

All of this having gone through his head as they exchanged their vows; he would only vaguely remember the ceremony later, but that's what video was for. Sarah's sniffle brought him fully back to the present, just in time for the ending words.

"By the powers vested in me and by the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife," Hardison told them with a smile. "Go on and kiss her man," he urged, to a scattering of chuckles.

Eliot watched as he pulled her close, smiles on both their faces, and kissed her passionately, marking her for the first time as Mrs. Lily Nainoa.

His little girl was now a married woman.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Everyone adjourned to the reception hall while the wedding party, including Sarah and Eliot, had their pictures taken. Parker efficiently organized everyone and had beautiful shots of them all in record time.

As a gift to Lily, Parker had taken over the role as photographer for the event. Worried that she wouldn't get all the traditional photos, the team would be surprised later to find that she had done her research. A mental checklist in her head, Parker got every picture that should be taken on a wedding day from Eliot walking her down the aisle and taking her vows, to her dances with Jason and Eliot and the cupcake fight. All were professionally done, and as a thank you, Sarah and Eliot would later gift her with an 11x14 framed picture of her hugging Lily on the dance floor with matching wide grins on their faces.

Several long tables had been arranged in a large U shape at one end of the room, an archway of Lilies behind two seats in the center where Lily and Jason would sit. The table was tasteful done, adorned with white tablecloths overlaying hot pink ones that peeked out at the edges. Wine glasses and silver ware were laid out expertly with hot pink fabric napkins folded artfully at each place setting. The centerpieces, which were spread out along the tables at three feet intervals, consisted of rectangle jars of hot pink stones, in which were nestled white branches, resembling miniature trees, on which sat various sized chiffon butterflies in several shades of pink.

After they had all settled into their seats and drink orders were brought out, the toasts began while they gave the caterers time to get the food ready to serve.

"I remember when I found out that Jay was gonna propose to my little sister. I knew he was a good man, but on the other hand, Lil's my baby sis," Cam began, earning chuckles. "I vaguely remember some threats that might've been made if he ever hurt her," he continued, smirking at Jay, "But I'm pleased that my sister and best friend found each other," he announced, turning to them. "I hope you continue to make each other happy," he wished them. "Otherwise I might have to fall back on my promises," he playfully threatened, before leaning down to hug Lily and reaching over to pat Jason on the shoulder.

The truth of the matter was, when Cam had found out that Jason was going to propose, he had immediately gone into defense mode, channeling his dad as he glared his best friend down. Jason had actually taken a step back and his eyes had widened in surprise from the expression on Cam's face. Cam had told him, "I might not be able to kick your ass, but if you hurt my baby sister, or make her shed one tear that's not out of happiness; I will post your picture on every law enforcement sight I can think of. I'm talkin' FBI, CIA, Interpol, and every fuckin' police station in the US. Your face will be posted so many places that you won't be able to walk down the street. Understood?"

Eliot had choked on his beer when Cam had told him and Hardison two days later, and after receiving a minor talking down by his mother, got taken out by Nate for beer with the guys.

After the applause died down, Valerie got up, having been voted by the other girls to be the one to give the speech.

"When I first met Lily, there was no way I thought we would ever be friends," she began with a smile the bride's way. "I'm a native New Yorker and anyone who knows me can tell you I'm not the easiest person to get along with."

"Truer words were never spoken," Jason muttered with a cocky grin, earning a glare in return.

"The first time I met her, I was on a job interview with her aunt. There I was trying to impress Sophie for a job and in comes this seventeen year old slip of a girl, flitting around like she was dancing to music only she could hear." Chuckles could be heard as she continued. "She's constantly optimistic, always sees the silver lining, and always sees the best in people." Turning to Lily, she said, "But I'm very happy that you saw past my bitchy exterior and took the time to get to know me, allowing me the chance to do the same with you. I'm very happy for you Lil and I'm honored to call you 'sister'." Everyone applauded as she leaned down to hug Lily and looked at Jason with a glare. "Hurt her and there's no place you can hide," she threatened softly, earning snickers from Cam, Eliot and Jason, the only ones close enough to hear.

She had spoken the truth. Cam and Jason had been pulling cons for four months when she sought out Sophie. Retired or not, Sophie was the best in the business and Val wanted to learn from the best. Already pretty impressive in her own right, Sophie had heard of her and took her under her wing. Six months later she would join the guys so they could take on slightly harder cases. And while Cam took her bitchy attitude in stride and managed to slip past her defenses and become her friend, it immediately put her on Jason's radar, and not in a good way. Their personalities rubbed each other raw and while they were able to work together and have each other's back on the job, they were not good friends.

The food was served and it was quickly discovered that Lily having both parents share a love of food was a wonderful thing. Having not been overly impressed with what the caterer's offered, Sarah and Eliot, with Lily's permission of course, met with them and proposed their own menu; which resulted in a delicious variety of dishes from Seared Duck with Fig, and Mandarin Orange Salad, to Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce, and Alaskan Halibut with fresh herbs, completely engaging their taste buds. And with an open bar serving a number of types of champagne, beers, soft drinks and coffees, all the guests were well taken care of.

An hour later, after the tables had been cleared of empty plates, drinks were refilled and compliments passed out on the exquisite food, Hardison excused himself to the deejay table, where he connected a netbook to the speakers and prepared to get the music going.

"If I can have everyone's attention…it's time for the bride and groom to have their first dance," he announced.

Jason led her onto the dance floor as Hardison started the song, and Eliot smirked at the unusual choice, as it seemed to fit his daughter perfectly. And if the expressions on their faces were anything to go by, it also held a special meaning for them.

.

If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.
'Cause I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.
'Cause I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.
Sew on patches to all you tear.
'Cause I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.

.

Everyone applauded as Jason dipped her at the end, placing a kiss under her ear. Eliot had been so focused on Lily that he hadn't seen that Sarah had left his side until she spoke over the microphone.

"Hey everyone," she greeted. "My daughter came to me months ago with a special request to play this next song. It's no coincidence that there's a piano and band equipment here," she chuckled. "Steve? You guys ready?" Eliot watched as the guys, who had flown up as invited guests, walked over to Sarah and took up their instruments.

"Daddy?" Lily asked softly, drawing his attention to her. "Will you dance with me?"

"But I don't know how to dance daddy! The Sadie Hawkins dance is in a week!" his twelve year old exclaimed dramatically. "Please…you have to teach me," she begged.

"You twirl around all the time princess," he argued in confusion.

"That's not the same," she huffed. "I don't know how to…dance with a guy," she admitted softly.

"Well then I guess I'm gonna have to teach you, huh," he replied, earning a bright smile from her as she lunged at him for a hug.

She started to pull him onto the dance floor, but it wasn't until Sarah began on the piano and Steve on the guitar, that his brain cleared, and he realized this was the father-daughter dance. Smiling as he finally understood that she had wanted it to be special for him as well; he pulled his little girl to him and began moving them to the music as Steve started to sing.

.

She spins and she sways
to whatever song plays
without a care in the world.
And I'm sitting here wearing
the weight of the world on my shoulders.

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you
There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom's just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
.

"Does this dress really look okay?" she asked nervously as she smoothed the satin bodice.

"You look beautiful princess," Eliot replied, pulling her in for a hug. "He'll be stupid if he doesn't think so. And if he doesn't, I'll have to have a talk with him," he threatened playfully, being rewarded with a giggle.

"Can you show me that dance move one more time? He's gonna be here in twenty minutes and I'm so nervous I think I forgot," she rushed out.

Chuckling, he pulled away to turn the CD player on, then returned and took her in his arms, leading her around the living room smoothly.

"When's my curfew?"

"11 o'clock," he answered immediately.

"But it's the senior prom! All the other kids get to stay out later," she pouted.

A camera flashed, and they both turned to see Sarah with a smile on her face. "Yeah, but they're not fifteen," her mother retorted.

"But you guys say that I'm mature for my age," she defended.

"Sometimes," Eliot replied behind a cough. Sarah looked at him with a questioning expression and he nodded. "Midnight," he conceded.

"Just like Cinderella!" she exclaimed, pulling him in for a hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," she gushed, to her parent's amusement.

.
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and tellin' us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"
.

"He proposed!" she squealed as she burst through the front door.

Eliot and Sarah looked up from their books to see a radiant smile on her face. Sarah immediately got up and went to embrace her, before pulling back to inspect the ring. Jason having come to him for permission made this no surprise to the former hitter, but seeing the ring and the glowing expression she wore slapped him in the face and suddenly made it real.

.
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

. (AN: Tell me your eyes didn't water…I dare you! Lol.)

She hugged him when the music was over and pressed a kiss to his cheek, before running over to Ashley and Val, pulling them and Jason onto the dance floor for the fast song that Hardison had just put on. He was amazed that she had found such a perfect song for their dance. Realizing he was still in the middle of the dance floor, he turned to head back to the table, only to be intercepted by his beautiful wife, holding a glass of Jack out to him.

"Did you enjoy your surprise?"

He took the drink and down it quickly. "Yeah, but you know that already," he quipped. "I still don't think he's good enough for her," he muttered grouchily.

"You're being too hard on him. He's a good man El," she tried to assure him.

"Just wait till Cam marries Amanda. Tell me how you feel about her then," he retorted.

Eyes wide, her gaze jerked to were Cam and Amanda were molded to each other, dancing as if no one else was around. The idea of her baby boy getting married…

"Touché," she conceded, looking up into his amused, knowing face. And then wrapping her arm around his waist, she led them over to where their family were talking and laughing, while the young adults danced around wildly.

"She's beautiful," Sophie complimented softly of the small bundle in Anne's arms as the adults pulled their chairs around her and Joe.

Freddy and his wife Jaina's month old daughter Nia was indeed adorable with her Gerber face, chubby cheeks, bright blue eyes, and light cocoa skin; a combination of both her mother and father's skin tone. And it was clear to see from the expression on her grandparent's faces, Joe and Anne having gotten married eight months after the Tarasov incident, that she was already being spoiled thoroughly.

"Yes she is," Anne murmured affectionately. "I'm trying to wear Erik and Leah down so they'll let me keep her overnight," Anne told them, smiling down softly at Nia.

"Have you told them that by doing so it will give them a night alone," Leanne suggested, gesturing to the couple on the dance floor. "I remember by the time Erik was five months old I was ready to pull my hair out," she commented, chuckling as she watched her and David's son on the dance floor doing some form of a crazy dance.

"When is he gonna give you a grand baby?" Eliot teased, smirking at the wide eyed expression on his brother's face.

"He's not ready to settle down yet," Leanne answered. "I've already had the 'I need grand babies to spoil' talk."

An evil grin appeared on David's face. "Doesn't look like Sarah will need to have that conversation with Lily," he teased, staring at Eliot. "Looks like you might get grand babies of your own soon little brother," he finished, nodding toward Lily and Jason on the dance floor, who were in the process of dancing very closely and suggestively. David grinned wider and felt a sense of satisfaction at the look of sheer horror on Eliot's face.

"Stop messin' with him David," Sarah chuckled. "Anyway, she's already said she's too young. May I hold her?" she asked Anne. And with a nod of consent, she took the little girl into her arms and began cooing to her as she began to wake up. "If you want, I can see if I can help convince them to let you start keepin' her overnight."

"That would be wonderful," Anne replied with a happy face.

"You say wonderful now," Joe muttered. "Then there's the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes," he grumbled, all the while smiling at his granddaughter.

An hour later, Hardison announced that it was time for the cutting of the cake, amusing in itself as it wasn't cake, but Lily's favorite…cupcakes. A three tier stack of orange almond cupcakes to be precise with alternating white and hot pink frosting, topped with butterflies made out of gum paste. She of course smeared Jason's face with the confection, which didn't faze him as he simply swiped it with his fingers and ate it anyway, and he returned the gesture by shoving it on her nose, causing her to retaliate in kind. By the time they were done; Val, Cam, Ashley and Emma having joined in, there weren't nearly enough to feed everyone; which was why Lily's idea for a sweet bar of chocolate dipped strawberries and biscotti, and miniature tiramisu, cappuccino cakes and cheesecakes turned out to be such a wonderful idea.

More music was played, and Sarah even convinced Eliot to join her for a fast song as Parker did with Hardison; Nate having told Sophie outright that he'd wait for the next slow one. Everyone was enjoying themselves, Lily being passed around the dance floor to all the men in attendance, with the rule of placing a dollar in her small wrist bag, money that she would later donate.

A cute moment occurred when Eliot was slow dancing with Sarah, only to have his jacket tugged on. Looking down he saw Hailey and Stephen's seven year old son looking at him expectantly. "May I cut in Uncle Eliot? I'd like to dance with Aunt Sarah…if that's okay," he said nervously. Eliot looked over to see several people, including his parents, watching in amusement.

"Of course I'll dance with you handsome," Sarah answered instantly, pulling away from Eliot to reach out to Josh.

"You're leavin' me for a seven year old?" he asked in playful disbelief.

"Well he is cuter than you," she replied with a grin, before dancing away from him, a chorus of laughter in her wake as Parker snapped a picture.

At five o'clock it was announced that it was time for the tossing of the garter and bouquet, so the bride and groom could leave. The married couples spent the next fifteen minutes chuckling at the young women pushing at each other to get the bouquet and the men who tried to shy away from catching the garter that Jason had removed from Lily's leg with his teeth. Sarah had had to hold Eliot back from saying something on that one. But he soon got his silent revenge as he watched in absolute amusement as not only Amanda caught the flowers, but Cam inadvertently caught the garter. The look of shock and mild horror on his wife's face was justice enough.

Cam approached Sarah twenty minutes later, wanting her to dance with him.

"I figured since dad and Lily got their turn and all…" he commented, trailing off. "I even requested the song," he added, wearing a smirk that made her heart skip as it reminded her of Daniel. And as she let him lead her to the dance floor, she took a good look at her son and at how much he looked like his biological father. Every facial feature, even his hair and skin coloring down to his six foot height, screamed Daniel. If not for his hazel eyes, no one would know he was hers. She was so proud of the man he had become and how hard he worked to help others and be a good man. His sense of humor and personality were infectious to all who met him, and for a brief moment she was saddened by the thought of how quickly he had grown up. She knew exactly how Eliot felt.

It was then that she heard the song that was playing and saw the amused look her son wore, him knowing that she had been lost in thought yet again. And her eyes watered up as the words flowed through her and he responded immediately by pulling her closer.

.

I come around all broken down and crowded out

And you're a comfort

Sometimes the place I go is so deep and dark and desperate

I don't know, I don't know

.

How every day

Every day, every day

You save my life

.

They remained silent as the song continued, Sarah leaning her head on his shoulder as she enjoyed the act of dancing with her son, and when the song ended, he murmured the words that she had been waiting for.

"I'm gonna ask Amanda to marry me."

"Was wonderin' when it was gonna happen," she admitted softly.

"Would you…would you help me pick out a ring for her?" he asked nervously.

She pulled back in surprise, a smile quickly forming on her face. "Really?"

"Is that okay? You like Amanda right?"

"Of course" she assured him. "I'm just happy that you want me to help," she explained, hugging him.

"Why wouldn't I?" he asked in confusion. "You're my mom," he murmured. And a tear fell down her cheek as she was flooded with her son's love.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Eliot had watched her come back into the reception hall twenty minutes ago, looking much more comfortable in a pair of jeans, sneakers, a billowy pink top and her hair loose around her shoulders, as she began her rounds giving everyone hugs goodbye and thanks for coming. An interesting moment when Parker pulled her aside and talked to her for a couple of minutes before hugging Lily had him curious, but he pushed it aside as a private moment between them, and even smiled when he saw Parker wipe her eyes quickly.

Five minutes later when Steve pulled him aside to talk to him about whether or not he and Sarah would be coming to Boston anytime soon to sing with them, he finally lost sight of her. Thinking that she had left already and that he had missed his chance to say goodbye, the finality of the situation hit him hard and he fought not to break down right there. His little girl was gone. But before he could drown in his sadness, Lily's face suddenly appeared out of nowhere, right in front of him, wearing a large grin.

Barely having time to register she was there, she lunged forward and wrapped her arms around him, hugging him tightly. A slow smile appeared on his face as he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.

"See you later alligator," she whispered in his ear, thus causing the once bad-ass hitter's eyes to water as the memory hit him.

"But daddy, I won't see you for a whole month!" his five year old daughter exclaimed dramatically.

"I'm gonna call you every night princess," he promised. "It's just summer camp."

"I'll miss you too much," she pouted.

Not knowing what to say, he pulled her into his arms.

"We need a special goodbye," she declared suddenly, pulling back to look at him.

"Special goodbye?"

"Yeah, something that only you and me do," she explained, putting on her thinking face. "Oh! I got it! See you later alligator."

He stared for a moment as she waited expectantly for him to reply. He only knew one response.

"After while crocodile?"

"No daddy. Everyone says that. You have to come up with something special."

"Bye bye butterfly," he automatically replied as the memory faded.

"I love you daddy," she murmured, then placed a kiss on his cheek and was gone.

Eliot watched as she ran off and into Jason's arms, a glowing expression on her face as he pulled her into a kiss that earned applause, and then got into a limo that would take them to their honeymoon suite at the hotel. He felt like it had only been yesterday when he held her for the first time and now she was married, ready to start her own life and adventure. The loss he felt threatened to engulf him as he struggled to maintain a calm face.

Sarah could see the sadness in his eyes as she came to stand next to him and wrapped her arm around him. She could tell he was doing his best to hide it, but she had been married to him long enough to see behind the indifferent expression he wore.

"She's still your little girl El. That won't ever change," she murmured softy, trying to comfort him as she leaned against him. "C'mon," she said suddenly, grabbing his hand and pulling him to the dance floor. "Dance with me cowboy."

"There's no music sweetheart," he told her as he automatically wrapped his arms around her. And as if they had been waiting for him to say it; Steve and the guys began playing a very familiar song that immediately put a smile on his face. Looking over at them, he was met by expressions of amusement on the guys' faces as Steve nodded toward his wife.

"That's much better," she commented before leaning against his chest as he began to move them to the music.

"You cheat," he growled out playfully against her ear before placing a kiss under it.

"Nope, just usin' all available resources at my disposal," she countered, causing him to chuckle.

A smile formed on her face moments later as he began to softly sing along, his deep drawl comforting as it filled her with a deep sense of love and belonging.

.

"Every long lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you."

.

Once the song was over, they pulled back to look at each other and she was relieved to see most of the sadness and loss had been replaced by a look of calm happiness instead. He knew now that even though both of their kids were out of the house now, with their own lives to live, they would always be a phone call away. And while he was, even though he'd never admit it, sad by their leaving, he had a beautiful wife to make the rest of his life as interesting as his kids had made it.

"I love you El," she murmured with a soft smile, reaching up to caress his face.

"The feelin's mutual I assure you," he replied with a smirk, leaning in to take her lips in a passionate kiss.

**********The End**********


"Sniff, sniff" Okay all, that concludes Eliot & Sarah's story. I hope you liked the ending.

Songs included are "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman, "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson, "Everyday" by Rascal Flatts and "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.

Thanks so much for all the reviews, alerts & favs. Remember to keep the short story ideas comin' & to keep me on author alert. I've got the outline for the next story pretty much done, but I'd like to have a few chapters done before posting the first one; which is why I'll be doin' special request shorts of Sarah/Cam/Lily till it's ready.

Hugs to all of you awesome people, I look forward to hearin' from you in the future!

Jen =)