AN: Here we go. The last chapter...

Chapter 18

"CHOOSE AND PERISH!" Gozer's disembodied voice yelled out. Ray looked very confused and called back, "What do you mean, choose? We don't understand!"

But Rose thought she did. And her thoughts were proven correct when Gozer replied in a booming voice that shook them all to their cores, "CHOOSE! CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE DESTRUCTOR!"

"Whoa!" Peter shouted. "I get it, I get it. Very cute!" Seeing that everyone was a little confused, Rose explained, "The form of the Destructor will be whatever we think of. So, if we thought of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover would come and destroy us."

"Empty your heads," Peter commanded. "Empty them. Don't think of anything. We've only got one shot at this."

Rose did as her brother said and emptied her mind completely. She let go of all her fears and worries. She got her mind as blank as it could possibly go...


"What?!" Rose yelled. Peter whirled around and said, "Whoa, whoa! Nobody chose anything!" He turned to Egon and asked, "Did you choose anything?"

"No!" Egon replied. Peter turned to Winston and asked, "Did you?"

"My mind's totally blank!" Winston replied. Peter looked at Rose and she shook her head. "I didn't choose anything!" Peter said. Rose closed her eyes and then turned to Ray.

"Ray, please tell me you didn't..." Rose started. Ray, trembling something horrible, said, "I couldn't help it. It just popped in there!"

"What, Ray? What just popped in there?" Peter asked. Ray blinked and adopted the expression of a kicked puppy. "I-I tried to think.."

But Ray was cut off by the sounds of stomping and screaming coming from stories below them. "LOOK!" Egon shouted.

They all rushed to the edge of the building and looked out. "No! It can't be!" Ray wailed. Rose and Egon got the first looks at what Ray had done, and Rose let out a hysterical laugh. "Oh my god," she said.

"What is it?" Peter asked. "What did you do, Ray?!"

"Aw shit!" Winston exclaimed. Ray's expression faded to one that recalled someone who had lost all hope. "It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man," he said solemnly.

"Oh my god, Ray! What the hell? The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?! Really?" Rose shouted, frantic beyond belief. Far below them, the giant marshmallow man crushed cars and sent people running for their lives.

It was roaring and snarling like Godzilla, but it's facial expression never changed. It always had this overly happy, kind of creepy smile on its face. It was actually kind of frightening.

"Well, there's something you don't see every day," Peter remarked. Rose just nodded, still frantic, but now terrified was added to that. Ray was still looking extremely guilty and said, "I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something that I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us...Mr. Stay Puft."

"Nice thinking, Ray," Peter told him. Rose, for once, was on Peter's side. "Ray!" she wailed. "You weren't supposed to think of anything!"

"I know, I know," Ray groaned. "I'm sorry." Rose just shook her head. Ray then tried to explain. "We used to roast Stay Puft marshmallows by the fire, at Camp Waconda."

Ray shook his head, looking like he was about to cry. It looked to Rose as though Ray was no longer with them.

"Ray has gone bye-bye, Egon. What have you got left?" Peter asked. Egon couldn't stop gaping and staring at the enormous fluff monster wreaking havoc below them.

"Sorry, Venkman," Egon replied. "I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought." Slowly, Mr. Stay Puft approached the Ivo Shandor building and when it saw them, it roared at them ferociously.

"Oh, no," Winston said. Rose and Peter, like the siblings they were, both said, "Mother pus bucket!"

They grinned at each other before snapping their attention back to Mr. Stay Puft, just as it stepped on a church. Even though she was atheist, Rose considered wrecking a church like that infuriating.

"NOBODY STEPS ON A CHURCH IN MY TOWN!" Peter yelled. Ray finally came back to them and they all charged their proton packs. "One, two, three," Ray said, "ROAST HIM!"

They blasted Mr. Stay Puft and although it was set on fire because of it, it wasn't stopped. It screamed angrily and started the climb the building just as the fire soared up the side of the building and nearly scorched them all.

Rose hauled ass away from the edge and dragged Ray and Peter along with her. Egon and Winston followed her lead and they all ducked away and hid from Mr. Stay Puft.

"Funny, us going out like this," Ray commented. "Killed by a hundred-foot marshmallow man."

"We aren't going to die," Rose said firmly. She needed to believe it. She came far too close to death once before and she had intention of doing so again, especially not now that she had fallen in love. She wasn't letting go of that, not this easily. "There's gotta be something we can do," she said.

"We've been going about this all wrong!" Peter said. "This Mr. Stay Puft isn't so bad. He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!" Rose smacked Peter without even looking at him and heard him mutter an 'ouch'.

"Peter, now is not the time for you to make stupid jokes. If that's all you're gonna do, don't let the door hit you on the way out!"

Before Peter could retort, Egon looked like a light bulb just exploded over his head. "I have a radical idea," Egon said. "The door swings both ways. We could reverse the particle flow through the gate."

"How?" Peter asked. But Rose knew. Somehow she already knew.

"Egon, no. No way. That's insane..." Rose told him. Egon looked at her and said, "It's the only way I can think of."

"I kinda like it. It's crazy, but I like it," Rose said and Egon shrugged, a hint of a smile on his face.

"What are you two talking about?" Peter asked. Egon turned to him and said, "We'll cross the streams."

"Uh, excuse me, Egon," Peter said, "you said crossing the streams was bad."

"Cross the streams..." Ray said, considering it. He drifted off into La-La Land and Peter said, "You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client. The nice lady who paid us in advance before she became a dog."

Rose rolled her eyes and Egon said, "Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive."

Peter thought about it and then slapped Ray in the face, shaking him out of his daydream, although it was friendly. "I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! Let's do it!" Peter exclaimed. Peter and Egon hurried off and Rose and Ray took each other's hands and followed them.

Winston, who was the last to get up, said, "This job is definitely not worth eleven-five a year!"

The five of them ran over to the temple just as Mr. Stay Puft poked his head above the top of the building. "HURRY!" Egon shouted.

"See you on the other side, Ray," Peter said, switching on his proton wand. Rose realized what he was doing. He was saying his goodbyes...just in case they did actually die.

"Nice working with you, Dr. Venkman," Ray replied, switching his wand on as well. He looked at Rose, who by this time, was nearly in tears.

"Don't cry," Ray said, brushing away a stray tear. Rose breathed in shakily and said, "Ray, just in case I don't make it out, I want you to know, I love you more than I've ever loved anyone. No matter what happens, I'm yours. Forever."

"I love you, too. And believe me, I feel the exact same way. But we aren't gonna die. We'll make it out. Both of us. All of us."

"But what if -?"

"Shhh," Ray said, and silenced her with a kiss. The kisses they shared were always loving and passionate, but this one by far blew them all out the water. As they kissed, each encounter with Ray flew through her mind.

The very first time she met him - she had been 11 years old; he had been 18

The first time he said her name

The first time he made her laugh

The very first hug they shared

Ray's graduation from Columbia University in 1977 - Rose had been 14

The very last time she saw Ray before he, Peter, and Egon left when she was 15. That had been only months after Ray graduated from Columbia.

And then the more recent encounters...

Seeing Ray again after seven years, outside of Peter's office - her heart almost stopped when she saw him. She had missed him so much.

Being bear-hugged by Ray when he finally recognized her - she could barely breathe

The almost-kiss they had shared after the library incident

The actual kiss they shared when Rose ran after him, taking a chance - their first kiss

The realization she was in love with him

The kiss they shared when Ray was trying to fix up the Ecto-1

The very passionate kiss they shared after Ray admitted the truth about his dream...

The heartbreaking, suffocating feeling she had when she thought she lost him when the ground broke right under their feet

Telling Ray she loved him and hearing that he loved her as well...

And it all came down to this - they could very well die right now and Rose found that if she did - if they did - she would be sad, but then she would be dead. She wouldn't be anything anymore. But she found the idea didn't bother her too much when she thought about the love that she and Ray had.

When they pulled away from each other, Ray said the exact same thing she was thinking, "Death can't stop true love."

Rose nodded and the two of them turned back to the open door of the Temple of Zuul. Rose turned on her proton charger and she, Peter, and Ray all fired their beams and cross them.

"Let's turn 'em on, Egon!" Rose called. Egon and Winston switched on their chargers and fired. As they inched closer and closer to Ray's, Peter's, and Rose's crossed streams, Rose yelled out, "Hey Peter!"

"Yeah, sis?!"

"I love you! You're the best big brother anyone could ever ask for!" Rose shouted, with tears in her eyes. Peter smiled and Rose could swear there were tears in his eyes, too.

"I love you, too, kiddo!" he called. Rose grinned and then shouted, "Egon, Winston? I love you guys!"

"We love you, too Rose!" Egon called and Winston nodded his agreement. Finally, Rose looked at Ray and their eyes met, perhaps for the final time, and Rose said, "I love you. I love you."

"I love you, Rose. I love you so much -"


There was white everywhere. Everywhere Rose looked, there was white. There was a sweet smell all around her too. The white was nearly blinding her.

Am I dead? Rose thought. She couldn't be, she reasoned. She had conscious thought, for one thing. She could see for another. She tried to blink and realized that something sticky was covering her eyes. Actually, something sticky was covering her everything.

She tried to move and found that her entire body hurt. She could feel pain... that meant she was definitely not dead. She must have come into contact with something very hard.

But what was this sticky white stuff that was everywhere? She winced as she moved her arm and wiped her eyes. Suddenly the white was gone from her immediate vision and her eyes were met with the sight of the still night sky.

Then what was the white stuff...? Sweet, sticky, white...oh my head hurts. Oh, wait, Mr. Stay Puft! He must have exploded...Oh my god, Ray! Where's Ray? And Peter, and Egon, and Winston? I have to get up. Come on, Rose, get up.

With every ounce of strength she still possessed she sat up and pushed herself off the ground. She was covered the marshmallow that had come from the explosion of Mr. Stay Puft.

"Ray?" she called weakly. She rubbed her head where it was sore and called, a little stronger, "Ray?!"

"Rose?" That was Ray's voice. "ROSE!"

"Move," she commanded herself and she forced herself to start walking. She saw Ray, who was just as marshmallow-y as her, emerge from the other side of the marshmallow covered building and she called, "Ray! Oh god, you're okay."

"Rose!" he jogged towards her and took her into his arms when he reached her. "Are you all right? Are you hurt?"

"No, I'm fine. I'm okay," she said. She looked around and spotted Winston behind Ray. "Winston, you good?"

"Yeah, sweetheart, I'm good." Rose nodded and said, "Where's Peter? And Egon? Where are they?"

"I'm right here, Rose," Egon said from behind her. She whirled around and wrapped her arms around Egon's waist. "Oh, Spengler, are you okay?" Ray asked. Egon awkwardly patted Rose the back and said, "I feel like the floor of a taxi-cab."

Rose laughed and released Egon just in time to see Peter, who had very little marshmallow on him, show up.

"Peter!" Rose cried and launched herself on her brother. Her heart felt so much lighter knowing that they were all okay. Peter didn't even stumble when Rose latched onto him. He just hugged her tightly and whispered, "Oh, Rosie... I thought for a minute..."

"I know. So did I."

They released each other and Rose fell back to be with Ray. The five of them walked towards the remnants of the Temple of Zuul. They came across a now frozen terror dog statue. Peter looked absolutely devastated and Rose knew why - this dog had once been Dana. Rose had a feeling that Peter really cared about Dana - he might have even loved her.

"Oh," Ray said, wrinkling his nose. "Smells like barbecued dog hair." Rose smacked him and Ray realized what he just said. "Oh...Venkman. Oh, Venkman, I'm sorry...I - I just forgot."

Peter walked away, sadder than Rose had ever seen him. Rose went after him and said, "Peter...I'm so sorry."

"Yeah, well -"

Crack! They both whirled around and saw that the terror dog statue had broken open and a hand was reaching out - a female hand. Dana!

Peter ran forward and started lifting Dana out.

"Somebody turn on the lights! Help!"

Ray, Rose, Egon and Winston turned around and saw that the other person that had been turned into a terror dog was walking around helplessly with a terror dog head covering his own.

"Go check on that little guy!" Peter said, still trying to help Dana out. The four others ran over to the little guy and Egon and Ray lifted off the terror dog head.

"What happened?" he asked.

"What's your name?" Rose asked him. He looked at her and said, "Oh, I'm Louis Tully."

Rose nodded and Egon said, "He'll be alright." Louis looked around at the damage and said, "Boy, the superintendent's gonna be pissed!"

Rose smiled as Ray said, "Are you okay?"

Louis looked around at them all and said, "Who are you guys?" Ray grinned and said, rather proudly, "We're the Ghostbusters."

"Oh," Louis said. "Who does your taxes?" Peter started leading Dana away and Ray, Egon, and Rose followed with Louis.

"You know, Mr. Tully, you are a most fortunate individual!" Ray said. No kidding, Rose thought.

"I know!" Louis replied, although he seemed like he was a little out of it. Ray smiled and continued, "You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross-rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!"

"Felt great!" Louis told him. Rose doubted this, but then again, Louis was not entirely right in the head at the moment. And then, of course, Egon said, "We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue."

"Okay..." Louis agreed wearily. Winston, who had followed after them, threw up his arms and yelled, "I LOVE THIS TOWN!"

When they finally exited the building, Rose was pretty sure she almost went deaf from all the cheering. And then Peter kissed Dana, which sent the crowd into a happy frenzy. Ray was about to pull out a cigarette but then he looked at Rose and threw it away.

"Ah, who needs it?" he said. "I've got you." Rose grinned and kissed him happily. "We did it, love," Rose said. Ray grinned and said, "I know. And now, I think I'd like to take a very long nap, with you right by my side."

"Sounds good to me, Ray," Rose said. She laughed when Egon came out of the building and Janine came running up to him. "Egon!" she cried.

"Go get him, Janine!" Rose cheered as Janine ran straight into Egon's arms. Ray chuckled and put his arm around Rose's shoulders. She wrapped her arm around his waist and they started walking to the Ecto-1.

"Hey, how long do you think it'll take Egon and Janine to get together?" Rose asked Ray. Ray laughed and said, "Knowing Egon...years. Hopefully he'll get his head outta his ass one day. There are plenty of girls out there who'd love to have a guy like Egon, and Janine is one of them."

"I know. But Egon is a man of science. He's married to his work."

"Yeah, I know. I'm not though," Ray added. "I could be married to someone else..."

"Huh?" Rose asked, not quite understanding. Ray stopped walking and said, "I know we've only been together for about two months, but I've known you and loved you for so much longer. And I know I don't have a ring, but...Rose Margaret Venkman, will you marry me?"

Rose was shocked. She almost didn't answer Ray, she was so shocked. They had been together for only two months, but she loved Ray with her entire being and she knew she'd never love another the same way.

For that matter, she'd never love another, period. She was Ray's, happily, forever.

And that was why, when she looked into Ray's soulful eyes, she said this:

"Yes. Yes, Ray, of course, I'll marry you."

Ray smiled and pulled her into a searing kiss. "I'll get you a ring first thing tomorrow, I promise," Ray said.

"Ray, I don't care about the ring. What matters to me is that we know, and those close to us know. The ring can wait, love," Rose told him. He grinned and said, "I know, but I want the world to know that someday soon, you're going to be Mrs. Rose Stantz."

Rose shrugged and said, "Okay. That's sounds good to me. Hmm, Mrs. Rose Stantz...Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Stantz. I can't even express how much I love that sound of that. How about we tell everyone tomorrow?"

"Yeah, and I'll propose with the ring, in front of everyone!" Ray exclaimed.

Rose leaned her head against Ray's shoulder and, as they walked towards the Ecto-1 and got into it, she thought, I guess 'Happily Ever After' really does exist, after all.

There you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading 'The Flower and The Heart'! Thank you for sticking with me through this story and the rather long hiatus it was on. You guys are so awesome. Thank you all.