(Author's Note: Here it is! As requested, the sequel to "Words". Don't expect a bunch of crime and detective type situations. It's set before the Maltara wedding. As far as the plot, it's mostly about Natara. And in fact, most of the story will be in either her or Blaise's POV. I hope you guys like it! Please read and review!)

Awake- Introduction

Natara Fallon.

It still hadn't hit me.

This whole "marry the man you actually love" concept was a foreign idea until Mal and I finally revealed our feelings for one another. To be honest, despite how often he told me, I really doubted that he actually did love me- only because Mal seemed a thousand times better than what I felt I deserved.

But clearly, somebody out there(fate) felt that Mal and I were meant to be together. And they felt strongly enough to make me leave Oscar Santos, my ex-fiancé, and get engaged to my partner, Mal Fallon, six months later.

With Oscar, I had plenty of doubts. With Mal, I have zero. I wake up every morning and smile, seeing him snoring and drooling next to me.

And I guess I just love Mal.

And everything that he does.

I love the mini-fights we have about how messy he keeps his apartment. He tosses his dirty clothes on the floor, right next to his clean ones. I trip over them…

I came home after a long afternoon of reports, Kai Kalaba, and hadn't eaten a thing all day. I was in the worst of moods.

Mal had beaten me home, since he only worked that morning, and was in the kitchen cooking us dinner. In that moment, I realized that I had the best fiancé on the planet.

Except that less than thirty seconds later, when I walked into the dimly light bedroom, I fumbled through the darkness, ready to get dressed into something more comfortable than my uniform. As I cautiously stepped over piles of garments that were carelessly cast in every which direction on the carpet, I reached my side of the closet. I began to mentally complement the organization of my side. Beautiful. Well done, Natara.

After changing into some loose sweatpants and a camisole, I took a very dangerous step backwards, losing my footing over something tiny. Probably a sock. I toppled over and loudly crashed on the floor. I didn't scream or anything, but I didn't need to for Mal to come darting in there. "Oh my god. Natara… what did you do this time? You're an accident waiting to happen, sometimes."

He ran to my side and delicately lifted me onto my feet. I was hungry, exhausted, and frankly, just exasperated. "God damn it, Mal. Can you not pick up your clothes, ever? You were here all day and what have you done, hmm?"

As soon as I said it, I felt horrible and wanted to apologize. His aqua blue irises burnt holes through me and he resembled something like a sad puppy dog. "I was here. And I was thinking… hmm… I know that Natara hasn't eaten yet today, and that Kai was tailing her all day and trying to talk to her about the Sims…I know! I'll make her a nice dinner. That's what I was doing."

He began to walk away, but he didn't even get half turned around when I grabbed his wrist and pulled him back. I never, ever let a fight break out between the two of us. Ever. Either did he. We were just not like that. "I'm sorry, babe. I was just caught off guard when I fell. I didn't mean to snap at you…"

His gaze returned to normal and a smile spread across his lips. "No, I mean. You're right. Look, I'll clean up the floor tonight. It is a little dangerous to have clothes on the floor… especially when you're engaged to somebody as clumsy as you."

I playfully smacked his arm. "Shut up, idiot. What's for dinner? I'm starving."

And I love the way he listens…

"So as I was saying, it was Neha and I, and we were with Raj and Anita at the mall. And out of nowhere, this guy walks by and his hair was like pink. Like hot pink, all over. And his hair was as long as Kai's! It was ridiculous. And I was laughing but guess what Neha says…"

He sighs, spinning the wheel of his car to the left, driving us to the precinct one chilly, October morning. "What does Neha say?"

"She said he was cute! Can you believe that?"

After thirty seconds of silence, I grew irritated. "Mal, are you even listening?"

He rapidly twitched his head and jolted back into our conversation. I saw the wheels of his brain turning as he tried hard to remember what I had just said. His expression was adorable. "Uh… wow! That's so Neha."

I laughed, unable to even get remotely angry with him.

He spoke again. This time, he momentarily took his eyes off the road and looked at me. "Why do you call their parents by their first names? That's so weird, Nat."

And I love how he always protects me.

"Mal, it's going to kill me! Get it, please!"

I scurried across the apartment into his room, cowering in the corner in fear.

A spider the size of Mars, swear to god, had just crawled up my jeans and was just hanging out there. As soon as I noticed it, I began to cry and hyperventilate, and I screamed at Mal to kill it. It ran off my leg, and hid somewhere else. And then there I was, feeling more terrified than ever. Having a legitimate panic attack.

After less than a minute, Mal pushed open the bedroom door and made his way to my side, giggling. "Are you kidding me? Big, tough FBI agent, but you can't handle a spider?"

I nodded. "I'm not ashamed to admit it." I smiled to avoid any further tears, fully realizing how much of an idiot that I looked like.

Mal noticed my anxiousness still being present and wrapped me up into his warm arms for a moment. The silence lingering in the air was beautiful. The stupid spider didn't scare me. The darkness of his apartment didn't scare me. Nothing could have scared me. I felt safe. "Mal, thank you."

His quiet laughter tickled my ear. The soft touch of his fingers on my shoulder blades and upper back soothed me. I could have slept. "No. Thank you." He replied in a soft whisper.

"Why are you thanking me?"

"Because you chose me. Forever. And I feel like the luckiest man in the world."

My heart melted. It always did when Mal said cheese-tastic things like that. "I love you." I replied. "And I'm lucky to have the opportunity to."

"I love you, too, babe. But can we go back to watching that movie? It was just getting to the good part."

I smiled into his chest, still not letting him go. "That depends if you killed that spider."

"Yeah…about that… it crawled underneath the couch and I couldn't find it. Sorry…"

I released him and walked off in exasperation back towards the living room. "Ugh!"

Mal cried after me. "I love you, babe!"

And I loved how he takes care of me when I'm sick.

The sniffles plagued me and I didn't plan on leaving the couch all day. Mal had already left for work. And as the day progressed, I felt progressively more shitty. I was so congested that breathing was a little difficult. And it all resulted in a migraine to top it off. My head was buried against my favorite plush pillow and re-run episodes of Criminal Minds played on the T.V.

The clock struck ten and I felt like my head was going to explode.

The clock struck ten thirty and I felt like I might feel better if my head actually did explode.

And at Eleven, the apartment door flew open. But I felt too sick to even lift my head.

A moment later, a delicious cologne scent filled the air. And I knew all too well who was standing behind me. "Nat, I would ask how you feel…but I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that you feel pretty awful."

I nodded into my pillow. Even his soft voice made my head ache.

"Well, I brought you some medicine, sweetheart. Dayquil, Nyquil, cough drops, Motrin, Aleve, and something else that trumps all of those…"

I waited.

"…Cookie Dough ice cream."

Instantly, my head whipped around and I looked around for it. I reached for it. "Please…"

He laughed. "You have to take your medicine first."

As the doctor ordered, I took some Dayquil and he made me a delicious ice cream sundae. After devouring it, and while enjoying the numbness it lacquered on my swollen throat, I glanced over at Mal in the kitchen. "What are you doing home from work?"

"I told Anders that I needed to take care of my sick girlfriend, and that she needed to go to the doctors. He bought it."

A few seconds later, he stood behind me, hugging my shoulders gently with his muscular arms. "Babe, I know this is your favorite show, but they're re-runs. You can watch it later. Go sleep in the comfy bed."

I shook my head and nuzzled into him. "Nah. I don't want you to get sick. If I sleep there, my germs are going to be crawling all over our bed."

"I can wash the sheets, and if I do get sick, I don't care. You're kind of worth it. Now let's go cuddle and sleep the rest of the day."

How did he know? How did he know that I wouldn't be able to sleep properly, even with sleep aids, if Mal wasn't holding me…

But most of all, more than anything… I love how he loves me.

It was four in the afternoon. At the precinct, officers, detectives, and administrative workers bustled about trying to manage one of our busiest holidays- the fourth of July.

I gazed from my desk for a moment, spotting Mal in his office. He was clearly focused on his paperwork… My eyes searched for something else.

They drifted towards the crime lab, where Kai was looking fiendish, fretting over a rubix cube. It appeared like he was literally losing his mind over it. I couldn't help but giggle. Then my eyes wandered to Jeremy Redbird. Him and Blaise sat in the break area, enjoying conversation over two steaming coffee mugs. They were cute.

A buzzing noise jerked me back into my current painful reality. Searching for the annoying noise, I realized it was my cell phone. A new text message from Mal.

"Stop people-watching and get back to work, gorgeous : )"

I couldn't help but smile.

Five minutes later, as soon as I trained my brain to re-focus on the task at hand. The phone on my desk began to beep. Reflexively, I answered. "Special Agent Williams speaking."

His deep chuckle was on the other end. "Miss Williams, I'm afraid you've been a naughty girl. I need you to come to my office to receive proper punishment."

I gazed into his office, seeing him grinning seductively. "Mal, I'm going to freaking kill you." I hung up and nonchalantly snuck into his office, closing the door behind us. "Detective Fallon, the answer is no. I will not have s-e-x with you while we're at work!" I said it in a loud whisper, clear angry must have been spelled out on my face. I meant business.

"Are you ten? S-e-x?"

"Whatever, I'm going back to work."

As I turned to leave, he zipped across the room and caught me. "I never said sex. I was obviously only kidding… but… I did need to tell you something…"

I sighed. "What now?"

"I love you."

I tried to hide the giant smile from my face. And I think I did it well. I had to look mad. I had to.

He just kept talking. "And I love annoying you. I love you I love you I love you I love you, Natara Williams."

"I really need to go back to work!" I hurriedly gripped the doorknob and tried to escape, again, and was caught… again.

His fingers lingered on my hips as his face remained only an inch or so away from me. "I just want a kiss, and then I won't bother you until later."

He didn't need to ask me twice.

I planted a passionate, feverish kiss on his lips and decided it would be fun to surprise him. I summoned a large amount of strength and pushed him against the far wall, so nobody would see anything if they walked by. I fiddled with his uniform jacket, trying to remove it. Still while never separating our lips, I ran my fingers delicately over every soft curve of his body…

I was lingering above his belt, playing with it. Driving him insane. And I knew it.

I smiled against his lips and then abruptly pulled away. "I love you, too, baby."

He couldn't stop me this time as I reached the door. And I heard him mutter "That's the most evil thing that was ever done to me."

And I laughed all the way back to my desk.

Yes, I love Mal Fallon. And he loves me. And I've never been happier in my life.