AUTHOR'S NOTES: I'm definetly messing around with things for the 6th season. First and foremost being Sam Winchester and Samuel Campbell. While Sam's going to be emotionally distant-except where Fiona's concerned-he's not exactly going to be RoboSam.
As for Samuel, he's not going to be the dick that he was on the show. He'll be working with his grandsons more as an equal, rather than a boss.
Now when it comes to Fiona, she's still paralyzed and it'll be a while before that changes. She's got to deal with some things first. Also-although he doesn't show up in this first chapter-Gabriel will be back and a love triangle will start up with Sam and Gabe both fighting for Fiona's affections.
STORY SUMMARY: One year after Sam jumped into the Cage, Dean and Fiona are trying to move on with their lives. But when Sam comes back with company, they find out that it's harder putting the pieces back together than breaking them apart. (This follows my other two stories 'Family Ties' & 'And Fi Makes Three'.)
SUPERNATURAL: Pieces of the Whole
(About a month before 'Swan Song')
Jethro Gibbs looked up from the work he'd been doing on his latest woodworking project and saw his old boss and mentor, Mike Franks, standing there.
Well, sort of.
The person standing in the basement looked, sounded, and even smelled like Mike Franks but it wasn't him. Looking back down at the wood relief he'd been working on the past few days, Gibbs said, "You're not Mike."
The not-Mike Franks chuckled as he pulled up a sawhorse and sat down, pouring himself a drink from the bottle of bourbon that was sitting on the work table. "What gave me away?"
"Mike doesn't usually call me by my last name. It's usually 'Jethro' or 'Probie'," Gibbs replied, again laying his tools aside and looking up at the stranger wearing his old friend's face. "So you're another angel?"
Not-Mike smiled and shook his head. "Not quite. More like the Boss of all angels."
Gibbs met his eyes but if he seemed surprised, he didn't show it. "You're God?" he said, skeptically.
"Yeah," God replied, sipping his drink. "Thought it'd be harder for you to hate me when you saw me if I looked like this."
"Yeah, well, you were wrong," Gibbs said, his tone cold and his eyes hard as ice. "Kelly, Shannon, Jenny… Kate… All you've ever done is take the people I care about away from me."
"And I gave you plenty back," God argued, even though there was no anger in his voice. "Fiona… The Winchester boys… Abby Scuito, Tony DiNozzo, Ziva David. I couldn't replace your family. So I gave you people who needed you to be theirs." When Gibbs left the table and went to the work bench, God sighed. "Look, I get that you hate me, Gibbs. And if it had been up to me, I would have spared that daughter of yours. But you should know that if Kelly had lived, she would have become a hunter, too. Just like Fiona."
"Why are you here?" Gibbs asked, annoyance in his voice.
God stood and ran his fingers on the unfinished woodwork before he looked Gibbs in the eye. "You're my true vessel, Gibbs. I'm here because I was hoping you'd say 'yes'."
Gibbs wasn't sure what to say to that. He didn't even know why he had been chosen. "If I do, can you bring Shannon and Kelly back?"
God cocked his head and gave Gibbs a look. "Is that what you really want?"
Gibbs thought about it for a while. In his heart, he knew that having his family back would always be his deepest desire. But he also knew that too much time had passed for him to easily step back into his old life. It would never be the same. "So what happens if I say 'yes'?" Gibbs asked, curious.
God laughed and resumed his seat on the sawhorse. "You go about your normal life," he said with a grin. "I just need a good vantage point to keep an eye on things. Especially Fiona Brendon and Dean Winchester. They're gonna need a lot more help in the future than angels can provide."
Gibbs poured himself a drink and sipped it for a while as he considered God's proposition. Finally, he finished his drink and nodded. "Okay."
13 Months Later
Life for Dean Winchester had changed dramatically over the past year.
It was little things at first—like avoiding the obits in the morning paper or not laying down salt lines at night.
After a couple months, Ziva had managed to talk Dean into going with her on her morning runs—something he got into regularly except on weekends.
He found a job at a local garage working on classic cars and the owner happened to be an old friend of Bobby Singer's.
Dean still took the occasional hunting job, but these days he never went fartheraway than Pennsylvania. Most of the jobs were local, though, and while he did feel guilty since he'd promised Sam he'd give up hunting for good, it just wasn't in him.
But Ziva was immensely understanding when Dean went to work a case. She knew that hunting monsters, demons, and ghosts was how Dean was dealing with his brother's death and all she could so was let him do what he needed to and welcome him with open arms when he got back home.
For Fiona, life without Sam was a wild mix of quiet, yet busy, days and long, lonely nights.
Gibbs had been patient, though. He knew what his goddaughter was going through and never pushed. When Fiona went back to her townhouse, he made sure she knew that she could call him at anytime for any reason.
Although Fiona didn't have to worry about money—there was still more than enough in her trust fund—being at home made her feel more depressed about what had happened.
After a couple months, Fi had managed to get into a comfortable routine revolving around her physical therapy sessions, weekly psych sessions with Ducky, working part time at a gun and knife store called the Bullet and Blade, and spending time at NCIS.
In the evening, Ziva would make dinner—sometimes with Dean's help—and she, Fi, and Dean would eat and talk.
At night, Fi would get a shower, letting the hot water wash over her as she sat on the shower bench. When she went to bed, sometimes she'd dream about Sam and when she did, she woke the next morning with a deep ache in her heart and couldn't stop looking at the empty side of the bed.
The only bright side was Gabriel who had all but officially moved in with Dean, Ziva, and Fiona. The archangel seemed to instinctively know when Fi or Dean were feeling particularly low about Sam and he always did something to pull them out of their funk. But it was never a big gesture. It was always something subtle that moved the memories from sad to happier.
The bar was mostly empty as Dean and Fiona sat at the table, each holding a bottle of beer.
It was May 2nd—Sam's birthday.
Dean sipped his beer and set the bottle down, smiling as he said, "Do you remember—you were 15 and I was 11—when Sam fell out of that tree in Colorado?"
Fi laughed as she nodded. "Sam ran away because your dad had yelled at him for the first time. He thought he was in big trouble when John found out that he'd gotten hurt."
Dean smiled as well, taking another swig of his beer. "And Dad was more freaked out because Sammy'd broken his arm and leg." His expression turned serious as he looked down at the condensation rings left by the beer bottle. "He'd be 28 today."
Fi nodded and held up her bottle as she said, "To Sam."
"To Sammy," Dean repeated, clinking his bottle with Fi's. When he and Fiona had finished their drinks, they declined the waitress's offer for another round. After paying the bill, he asked, "So, you working tomorrow?"
Fiona shook her head. "No, I've got PT in the morning. You?"
Dean shrugged as he tore the bottom of the receipt off where the waitress had written her name and phone number. Hearing Fiona's quiet laugh, he looked up as he pulled out his wallet. "What?"
"So you and Ziva?" Fi said with a teasing smile. "It's that serious?"
Dean laughed as well as he dropped a 20$ on the table before putting his wallet back in his back pocket. "So get this," he said, leaning forward. "Past couple months Ziva's been giving me this look. This happy 'my life has never been better' look." When Fiona nodded that she was following along, Dean pulled out the folded page of a catalog. "And then I find this tucked into a book she's reading."
Fiona unfolded the page, she saw a stunning array of engagement rings. Trying to hide a smirk, she said, "Subtle."
"I love Ziva," Dean said quickly. "Don't get me wrong—I do. But getting married?"
Fiona almost burst out laughing as she looked at the back of the page. When Dean gave her a look, she gave him a pitying look and displayed the back of the page which was filled with lingerie models. One model was circled and the words 'Dean's birthday present' were written in Tony DiNozzo's handwriting. "Surprised you didn't notice that," Fi said, smirking.
When they got back to the townhouse, Dean stopped when he saw scratches on the stone outside. But when he looked again, he saw that it was just shadow from a tree branch across the streetlight nearby. As he and Fi went inside, he tried to shrug off the prickling on the back of his neck that said that something unnatural was going on.
Going to his computer in the living room, Dean started looking for anything out of the ordinary. There were a couple drug overdoses and the usual smattering of murders, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Fiona wheeled up to him, trying not to look worried. "You okay?"
"Ahh, just a feeling," Dean replied, stretching. "I don't know. Something feels off, you know?"
Fiona didn't say anything, but she knew that Dean got like this after thinking about Sam. He'd left Christmas morning to go after a ghost. Before that at Thanksgiving, Dean had gone alone to chase a wendigo and ended up in the hospital for almost a month. She wanted to say something about how it was okay to miss Sam, but Fi knew from experience that some things were better left unspoken.
Heading into her bedroom, Fi decided to pass on the shower and managed to get changed into her pajamas with few problems. As she got into bed, she closed her eyes and felt the tears fall down her cheeks. "I miss you, Sam," she whispered, her voice cracking. Moving so she was on her side, she got as comfortable as she could and tried to sleep.
Dean woke early the next morning when he felt Ziva get out of bed.
"Are you okay?" she asked, watching her boyfriend carefully. He'd come to bed late and had been tossing around all night—it was typical if a case or Sam was on his mind, but if it had been a case, Dean usually slept late so he'd be well rested to deal with the… whatever.
"I'm good," Dean assured Ziva as he got up and stumbled into the bathroom. After a second, he looked back at her and grinned. "Join me in the shower?"
Ziva smiled at Dean and silently pulled off her sleepwear as she walked towards the bathroom, closing the door and locking it as soon as she was inside.
They made love in the shower, enjoying how the water raining down over their bodies always seemed to heighten the experience.
After getting dressed, Dean went downstairs to Fiona's room and found that she was already up and dressed in track pants, slip-on shoes, and a tank top—her usual outfit for physical therapy.
Dean studied his oldest friend, trying to figure the right morning greeting. If she'd been dreaming of Sam the question 'how'd you sleep?' would be greeted with a cool silence. 'You okay?' would likely be answered with hostility, and 'need any help?' would be greeted with angry stubbornness.
"I'm okay, Dean," Fiona said to the unasked question as she wheeled over to her dresser and grabbed her dogtags. After pulling them on and grabbing the bag she took with her for her Physical Therapy sessions, she dropped the defensive tone and said, "Really."
Dean sat down on the bed and rubbed his face with one hand. "I just… don't know how to talk to you sometimes."
Fi nodded, understanding entirely. "Look, Ziva said she'd give me a lift to PT. But when I get home we'll talk okay?"
Dean just nodded and a short while later, after he watched the two most important women in his life head out for the day, he picked up his cell phone and dialed a familiar number.
When Ellen picked up, Dean went into the kitchen and made a pot of coffee.
"Dean? You okay, honey?" Ellen said, a touch of concern in her voice.
"Yeah," Dean assured her, knowing that if he didn't, the next thing he'd hear was Ellen Elizabeth Harvelle-Singer knocking on the front door. "Just checking in."
"Uh-huh," Ellen replied, not sounding convinced. But as Dean just started talking, the remarried hunter could quickly tell that Dean was lonely for his brother. As far as she knew, Bobby hadn't spoken to Dean since the day Sam died, even though he'd spoken to Fiona several times over the past year. When the younger man finally fell silent, Ellen said, "Bobby's been trying to get a hold of you, you know."
"Yeah," Dean sighed, wearily. "I just… It's complicated, Ellen."
She could certainly understand that. After a few more minutes, Ellen said 'good-bye' and let Dean hang up first.
When Dean headed out a short while later, he felt like someone was watching him. He took a few new turns on the way to the garage and when he arrived, he felt a wave of panic wash over him when he saw that the place was closed and there was yellow powder on the ground near the doorway.
Going back to the old pick-up truck he'd bought about 8 months before, Dean pulled out his gun and went back to the door, finding it unlocked. As he cautiously went inside, the door suddenly slammed and locked behind him. Before he could even look around, he was flung across the room and pinned to the wall. Looking for the demon responsible, he felt his heart race when he saw Fiona walking towards him. "Fi…" he said, nearly crying. "No…"
"Oh, not even close, Deanie-poo," Fiona said with a smile. "But she did stab me in the gut."
"Lilith," Dean said, breathless. "That's not possible!"
"Sure it is, silly goose," Lilith said, laughing. "First… I'm going to snap each and every bone in your body. And then you're going to watch as I kill everyone you ever cared about."
"No!" Dean shouted. But his brain was going fuzzy and as Lilith approached him, he thought he saw Sam just before everything went dark.
Sam felt a rush of relief when he saw that that the cure was working. Dean was still unconscious, but his breathing had gone back to normal, so that was a good sign. Still, Sam needed to get his brother out of here and somewhere safe, just in case the djinn decided to make a return visit.
Three hours later, Sam deposited Dean onto a bed in the bedroom of an old, abandoned hunting cabin. He sat on the other bed in the room and waited for Dean to wake up. He knew it could be a while—the poison did mess with your system and even the antidote was no picnic. But it gave Sam time to think. He looked down at the Claddaugh ring on his hand and wondered where Fiona was. Had she been infected as well? This past year it felt like his emotions had been frozen or something. Physical sensations were as sharp as ever, but emotions seemed to elude him sometimes.
He remembered watching from across the street as Ziva, Dean, Fiona, and Gibbs ate dinner in the living room of Gibbs' house. Just pizza and beer by the looks of things. He'd felt… Well, there was certainly relief that Dean was okay. And he did kind of miss Fiona…
It was as if Sam was watching the world with the sound turned down or something. His feelings and emotions were muffled and it made him feel uneasy.
"Dean still out?" said a gruff voice from the doorway.
"Been two hours," Sam replied, a faint feeling of worry starting to settle on him.
Samuel Campbell looked from one grandson to the other. After coming back from the dead and finding out that his wife, daughter, and son-in-law dead, Samuel hadn't known what to do with himself. So he'd fallen back on the one thing he knew better than anyone else: hunting.
On a job dealing with a ghost in Pittsburg, PA, Samuel had run across his younger grandson, Sam, and the two finished the job together before finding a bar and talking. They'd decided to work together to try and find out why they were back and as they had gone along, Samuel had learned more than he'd wanted to know about the family he had left.
Hearing a light groan coming from Dean, Sam and Samuel turned to him, Sam perching on the edge of the bed, watching his brother as he opened his eyes. "Dean? You okay?"
"So I'm dead?" Dean said, looking from his brother to his grandfather as he sat up. "This is Heaven? Lilith killed me and—"
"Lilith?" Sam said, a bit startled by that. He'd thought maybe Dean would have seen Azazel or Alastair.
"She possessed Fiver," Dean said, still sounding slightly groggy.
"'Fiver'?" Samuel repeated, looking confused.
"Uh, Fiona's nickname," Sam explained, quickly. Focusing on Dean, he said, "Dean, you were poisoned. So whatever crazy crap you think you've been seeing, it's not real."
Dean thought of what he'd seen at the garage earlier that day. Lilith, the sulpher… "So, then are you real, or am I still…?"
"We're real, Dean," Sam assured his brother, indicating himself and Samuel. "We both ran each other through the tests. Salt, holy water, silver, iron… the works."
Both Winchesters stood and Dean studied his brother for a moment before he said, "Sammy?"
"Yeah," Sam replied, nodding. "It's me."
Dean hugged Sam and he felt him hug back. God, right now he didn't care if this was a hallucination. His little brother was back and that was all that mattered. Wait a second… Backing away, Dean said, "Wait, you-you were gone. That was it. How did you…?"
"No idea," Sam admitted, shrugging. "I mean, I looked—really. But no leads. Best I can tell, God had nothing to do with it—or Celeste or any of the other angels."
A sneaking suspicion was creeping over Dean and he asked, "Sam, how long have you been back?"
"About a year," Samuel replied, walking over to Sam. "And before you go on about your brother not telling you… he had his reasons, okay?"
"You had what you wanted, Dean," Sam added. "A normal life. And the last thing I wanted to do was ruin that."
"Normal?" Dean repeated, incredulously. "Sam, I never stopped hunting. I'm not made for anything else!" Rubbing his face with one hand, he sighed. "I tried, okay? I did. But this is what I am, Sammy, and you know it." Taking a moment, he said, "Look, at the very least, you should have told Fi."
"She's better off without me," Sam said, looking stoic. He still remembered snapping Fiona's spine, watching her fall to the ground… The look of comprehension and horror in her eyes as she realized she was paralyzed again. "Besides, Celeste probably healed Fi after I was gone, right?"
But Sam hadn't been expecting his brother to haul off and punch him, hard, in the face. "'Better off'?" Dean shouted, his anger barely contained. "Do you have any idea how many times Fi cries her self to sleep at night? And in case you didn't know, Fiona's still paralyzed!"
"What?" Sam said, stunned by that news. And then he realized that the few times he'd seen Fiona, she'd been sitting down. Because she was back in the wheelchair. "Dean, I swear if I'd known I would have said something to you. You've got to believe me."
Dean backed off a bit, his mind reeling. Looking at Samuel, he said, "So what about you?"
"One minute I'm in Heaven watching Deanna giving birth to Mary, the next I'm laying in a cemetery in front of my own headstone," Samuel replied, shrugging. "Kind of trippy, really."
Sitting back down on the bed, Dean looked up at Sam and asked, "So what were you doing at the garage?"
Knowing that further discussion of the events of the past year was being put on hold, Sam replied, "I got hit before you. Couple days ago—dosed up with poison."
"By?" Dean asked, wondering just what monster had tried to kill him this week.
"A couple of djinn," Sam replied, still surprised at the way the two beings had looked. "Apparently, they've switched tactics. You know, they look like regular people and all they have to do to kill you is touch you. Toxins get into your system and next thing you know you're hallucinating your worst nightmares. Pretty soon, you OD."
"So then how are you still breathing air?" Dean wanted to know. "Or me, for that matter?"
"Samuel had a cure," Sam explained, calmly.
Dean's eyes widened at that. Looking at his grandfather, he said, "You just happened to have a cure for djinn poisoning?"
"Oh, I know a few things," Samuel said, his tone a bit defensive. "Stick around and I'll show you tricks your dad never even dreamed of."
"Okay, so why are these things after us?" Dean wanted to know. God, he wished he'd never gotten out of bed this morning. "I mean, yeah, there was that one years ago, but why seek revenge now?"
But neither Sam nor Samuel had any response to that. Sam shrugged as he said, "No idea. As soon as they came after me, we were pretty sure they were going to go gunning for you next. So I started following you." Catching Dean's look, Sam smiled. "Had to protect my big brother after all, right?"
Dean nodded, distractedly. Suddenly, panic hit him and he said, "Wait, Fi doesn't know. Those things could go after her and Ziva!" Pointing to Sam, he said, "You've gotta take me home right now!"
Sam, Samuel, and Dean headed out to Sam's car and got in, heading away from the house and back towards DC.
The house was empty when the car pulled into the driveway and the three men quickly hurried inside, looking around.
"Fi?" Dean called, looking around, not sure whether he should be relieved or scared that she wasn't there.
"There's no one here, Dean," Samuel said as he met his grandsons in the kitchen. "Is it possible she went out or something?"
"Fiona doesn't date," Dean snapped, shooting a glare at Sam.
"She hasn't been dating?" Sam repeated, frowning slightly. "Why not?"
Dean repressed the urge to hit his brother again and snapped, "I don't know. Maybe because you broke her heart when she thought you were dead?"
"You guys promised—" Sam started, but he was cut off by his brother punching him a second time. Straightening up, he Gave Dean a look as he asked, "Feel better?"
Before Dean could hit Sam again, Samuel grabbed his arm. "How about the two of you finish this after we find your friend?" Looking from Sam to Dean, he pressed, "Okay?"
Dean nodded and relaxed. But when he heard the front door open, he tensed, grabbing his gun and whirling about to aim it at—"Fi!"
Sam and Samuel turned to see Fiona coming into the room and Sam was caught off by a sudden stab of guilt. For some reason, now that he was around Fi again, it was as if his emotions were suddenly back to normal. Looking at the pain and anger in Fiona's eyes, Sam was suddenly happy that she didn't have a gun handy.
"Fi… it's really Sam, okay?" Dean said, quickly as he saw Fiona tense. When she quickly grabbed the shotgun by the door, he added, "I tested him, Fi. Salt, holy water, everything."
"Look, I know you're probably pissed at me," Sam said as he cautiously approached Fiona. But he staggered backwards when Fi fired a round of rock salt into his left leg. "I'm not a demon!" Sam insisted, although he shut up when Fi cocked the shotgun again.
"Fi, please give me the shotgun," Dean insisted. When she finally handed the weapon over, Dean looked over at Sam. "You okay?"
"I've had worse," Sam replied, groaning lightly as he sat down on a chair in the kitchen. When Dean and Fiona headed to the living room to talk, Sam looked at his grandfather. "Well, that went better than I expected."
"She shot you," Samuel said, frowning. "How could it have gone worse?"
"It could have been something other than rock salt," Sam replied, looking at his pants, wincing as the salt burned. Gesturing to the bedroom, he said, "I'm going to change… That is, if Fi didn't get rid of all my clothes."
An hour later—the rock salt wounds treated and the torn pants stuffed in the trash can—Sam went back to the living room and found Fiona in the living room. "So…" he said as he sat down on the couch.
"Sorry I shot you," Fi said, honestly.
"I'm okay," Sam assured her with a light smile. Looking at Fi, he said, "So… why did you…?"
"Why didn't I let Cas or Celeste heal me?" Fi finished. She shook her head. "After you were gone I was depressed, angry, hurt… I just didn't care if I couldn't walk."
Sam was quiet for a while and finally he said, "This past year… I don't know. It's like I know what I'm supposed to feel, but the emotions aren't really there, you know?" Looking at Fiona, he went on. "Being with you… It's like things are starting to feel right again."
Fiona was about to say something, but she stopped and looked up when Dean and Samuel came in. "So what's going on?"
"We've got a couple angry djinn on the loose," Samuel replied. "Dean and I are going to take care of them and Sam's going to stay here with you."
"I don't need a babysitter," Fiona snapped, irritably. "Believe it or not, I am capable of defending myself."
Seeing Samuel about to say something, Dean stopped him before he did something stupid. "We know, okay?" Dean said, quickly. "And besides… you and Sammy need to talk, right?" Before Fiona could say anything, he hurried his grandfather out to Sam's car and got behind the wheel before adjusting the seat.
"Mind explaining what all that was about?" Samuel asked, half out of curiosity and half out of annoyance.
As he started the car, and pulled out of the driveway, Dean said, "Did Sam tell you about Lilith?"
Samuel nodded. "Yeah. He said Fiona stabbed herself to kill the demon and that that was how she ended up paralyzed the first time."
"Fi spent weeks in the hospital and when she got out, she was in rehab off and on for almost 8 months. All the while she was still hunting with me and Sam," Dean explained as he drove. "So, yeah. Fi may be stuck in a wheelchair, but don't ever insinuate that she's helpless. Especially not if she's armed."
"I'll keep that in mind," Samuel replied, nodding.
It was late when Ziva got back to the townhouse and if she was surprised to see Sam alive and well, she didn't show it.
While Sam made sure the house was secure, Fiona watched Ziva as she started baking some sort of casserole she'd made and frozen a few weeks ago. "You're acting rather calm about the fact that Sam is miraculously out of Hell," Fiona said as she wheeled up to the kitchen table. "Did you know?"
"If you are asking if I knew that Sam was alive," Ziva said, turning to give Fiona a sympathetic look. "I did not." Watching her friend look around nervously, Ziva wondered what would happen now. Would Dean and Fiona rejoin Sam on hunts? Or would they stay here and let things keep going on like they had been?
Fortunately for Dean, he and Samuel had found the djinn and after dispatching the creatures, the two hunters found a bar and after ordering a couple beers, Samuel said, "You did a good job, Dean."
"Thanks," Dean replied, just a touch surprised by the comment. "Not too bad yourself," he added.
Samuel shrugged. "I've been doing this for years, Dean. My Dad started training me when I was about 10."
Dean smirked and said, "My dad had me shooting cans off of a fence when I was 6."
Samuel was quiet as he thought of how to voice his next thought. But after a while, he said, "You know, your mom may have wanted a normal life for you, but I think she'd have been proud of the way you and your brother turned out."
"You think so?" Dean asked, sounding a bit doubtful at that.
"Yeah, I do," Samuel replied, nodding earnestly. "Look, Dean, hunting is in your blood. I mean, you had ancestors hacking the heads off vamps on the Mayflower."
Dean was surprised at that. He'd known that his grandparents had been hunters but finding out that he came from a very long line of hunters had never occurred to him. "So what are you going to do now?"
Samuel sipped his beer and after setting the bottle down, he said, "Something's going on with the monsters lately. Werewolves are out on the half-moon. Creatures native to places on the other side of the planet are popping up here in the states. Right now your brother and I are trying to figure things out but we could use your help."
Dean thought long and hard about that. The idea of being back on the road with his brother… It was something he wanted very much, indeed. And he was sure that with Sam back in the picture Fiona would be in a much better headspace. Maybe now, Dean could even convince her to call Castiel to undo the paralysis.
But before any of that happened, Dean knew that there was something he had to do first.
Never a light sleeper, Ziva woke immediately when Dean entered the bedroom at 3 in the morning the following day. "Dean," she said, worriedly, as she sat up, throwing back the bed covers. "Are you alright?"
"I-I know it hasn't been easy living with me this past year," Dean said as he sat next to his girlfriend. Looking down at his hands, he sighed before looking at her. "I'm so sorry, Ziva. For everything."
Ziva frowned and after a moment said, "You are an idiot." When Dean gave her a look, she said, "I mean, it wasn't perfect but we were in it together. Even with you being a… a crash half the time—" Seeing Dean about to correct her phrasing, Ziva held up a hand to stop him. "Yes, I know I used the wrong word!" she snapped. Taking a breath, she calmed down and gently caressed the side of Dean's face. "My point is… that I would rather have you as a complete mess rather than not have you at all."
"You really mean that?" Dean asked, letting himself be lost in Ziva's beautiful eyes.
"Of course," Ziva said, surprised that Dean really needed to ask.
Dean stood and moved so he was standing in front of the only woman he'd ever really loved, As he got down on one knee, he pulled a small jewelry box out of his pocket and opened it, revealing a simple gold and diamond ring.
Ziva was breathless as her eyes met Dean's. She was grateful that she was sitting down because otherwise she might have actually fainted.
"Ziva David," Dean said, his heart pounding more than it had ever done while on a hunt. "Will you marry me?"