A/N: There is reference to Scent of a Detective and Something Born Between Them but you do not have to read those to get this.

This is set sometime in the distant future. Carter and Reese have grown close, very close over the years and the love between them, though unspoken, is quite tangible and Reese is determined to do something about it. As always, I hope you enjoy.

The Proposal

Maybe the freezing cold kept the criminals at bay but an entire day passed with no new number to work, no new homicide to investigate.

When her shift ended, Carter rushed out of the precinct hoping she would miss any homicide call that might come in. It had been a long and busy 3 weeks for her and all she wanted to do was go home, take a hot shower, put on her flannel PJs with the feet and snuggled up in front of the TV with a big bag of popcorn.

Carter made it home without one call threatening to ruin her planned evening.

Hot shower… check

Face cleasned, masked and moisturized… check

Body moisturized with Bath and Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar… check

Johnson's Baby powder sprinkled over torso… check

Flannel PJs with the feet on… check

Hair wrapped in silk scarf… check

Fire going… check

Lights out… check

Quilt wrapped snuggly around body… check

Remote in hand, big bag of popcorn in reach… check check

Carter clicked the power button, then the Guide button. Scrolling, she saw that Law and Order was on but she had had enough of law and order the past 3 weeks so she kept scrolling past one of her favorite shows.

Sweet Home Alabama would be starting in a few minutes. A romantic comedy would do her good tonight so Sweet Home Alabama it was.

Carter got comfortable under her quilt and started munching on her popcorn minutes after the movie began. About 30 minutes into the movie, there was a knock on the door. Carter frowned wondering who it could be. If her friends dropped by, they would always call to be sure she was home.

Carter put the movie on pause before throwing off her quilt and heading to the door. Standing on her tippy toes, she peeked through the peephole. Her frown was quickly replaced with a smile.

Her man in the suit (and winter coat) was at the door.

"John" she smiled after she flipped on the lights and opened the door.

"Detective" Reese smiled back as he walked into the brownstone.

Once inside, Reese turned and faced Carter. After closing the door and taking a step toward him, Carter opened her mouth.

"What are you doing here?" Carter said in an accusatory tone as she raised her brow. She was afraid he was about to ruin her night.

"I needed to talk to you" he said, ignoring her raised brow and accusing tone.

"About?" Carter asked when Reese just stood there and starred at her with that stare that made her toes tingle.

Reese gave her that lopsided grin as his mind drifted back…

"Morning Detective" Reese said as he slide into the back seat of Carter's police care. "Miss me?" his smooth, low voice inquired as a sly grin spread across his face.

"You know I always pictured you in the back of my car… in handcuffs" Carter returned.

"Oh… to each his own" Reese, his voice still smooth and low, returned.

"John" Carter's voice brought him back to the here and now. "You're making me miss my movie."

"No Law and Order?' he knew she loved that show and could sit for hours on end watching it.

"Not tonight" Carter said as she began to wonder if John needed one of those talks tonight. "So what's up?" she asked gently. "Everything OK?"

Since that day on the bench when they became vulnerable with one another, they had been calling on each other to talk when one of them needed to be emotionally naked.

"Everything's fine" he returned.

Carter was relieved. John had come a long way since the day she met him and she was beyond happy that a healed man stood before her.

"So…" Carter started again when John continued to stand there and staring at her, making her toes tingle. "What's going on? I'm missing my movie" she teased.

"Remember when you told me you wanted me in cuffs?"

Carter frowned and in the next instance, her mind drifted back…

"Morning Detective" Reese said as he slide into the back seat of Carter's police care. "Miss me?" his smooth, low voice inquired as a sly grin spread across his face.

"You know I always pictured you in the back of my car… in handcuffs" Carter returned.

"Oh… to each his own" Reese, his voice still smooth and low, returned.

"So, you're ready to turn yourself in?" Carter laughed at the memory.

"Yes" Reese said, his voice serious.

It took a few moments for the seriousness in his tone to register but when it did a look of confusion crossed Carter's face.

"What?" she said, disbelieving what her ears were hearing.

"I'm ready" Reese said as he closed the short distance between them. "To be handcuffed to you for the rest of my life" he said as he raised his left arm revealing a cuffed left wrist with the other cuff open and dangling.

Carter was not hearing what she was hearing.

"What?" she said, more perplexed than ever. "You want to what?" she said, her voice trailing off.

With his left cuffed hand, he reached for her wrist and closed the dangling cuff around it as her scent teased then pleased his nostrils.

"I want to be handcuffed to you for the rest of my life" he said as his blue eyes bored into her big brown ones.

"What… what are you saying" Carter was bewildered as she continued to deny the words or rather the meaning of the words falling from Reese's lips.

"I'm saying…" Reese spoke slowly. "I want... to be handcuffed... to you..." his eyes seared into hers. "For the rest of my life Detective."

For reasons unknown, calling her Detective the way he called her Detective broke through Carter's haze.

"Are you crazy?!" Carter the detective, Carter the soldier spit out in a high pitched, loud voice.

"No" Reese returned, in a low keyed, sensible tone.

"This" Carter raised their cuffed hands in the air. "This can't happen!" she frowned.

"Why not?" Reese, still very calm, said as a grin met her frown.

"Because!" Carter shouted, thinking Reese had lost his damn mind.

"Because?" Reese queried.

"Because… because… because I'm a cop!" Carter had the answer. "And you… you're a vigilante… a lawbreaking vigilante!"

"And yet" Reese said, turning the smooth to high. "We work so good together" his eyes twinkled wickedly.

Those damn eyes… that damn voice… this damn man in a suit.

They had come to know each other… trust each other… love each other.

Given their circumstances and the lives they led, they were in a nice groove… and now he wanted to go and screw all of that up!

Regret welled up inside her, regret for what they could never be.

"This can't happen" Carter lamented as she looked into his blue eyes and a pool of tears began to rise in hers. "It can't" she whispered.

"It can" Reese whispered back as he pulled their cuffed hands behind his back wrapping Carter's arm around his waist.

"It can't" Carter returned as Reese pulled her even closer.

"It can" he whispered as his free hand reached for her free hand.

"It can't" Carter replied. "It can't" she whispered as his lips moved closer.

"It can" Reese said as he squeezed her free hand. "It can" he breathed as he smothered her lips with his.

Her lips were easy prey as they parted willingly for his. Reese pulled Carter even closer as his tongue touched hers and the two members began to mate.

The kiss was soft, gentle, slow and in that moment, they were only conscious of each other. The kiss was sweetly affectionate with a mighty undercurrent of penned up desire, a desire that needed to stay at bay for now.

When the kiss finally ended, they stood in each other's embrace, forehead to forehead, joined by handcuffs.

When Carter came down from her high, the full picture of how Reese proposed made her laugh. He was not a romantic guy, not in the traditional sense at least but proposing with handcuffs was so Reese. The soldier, the detective and even the woman thought it was so sweet… so very sweet because it was so Reese.

"What's so funny" Reese asked as he lifted his forehead from hers.

"You" Carter smiled up at him.


"Proposal by handcuffs" Carter pulled her arm from around his waist and lifted their arms.

"I thought you might like that Detective" Reese, with the cool, smooth voice smiled.

And then it happened. Carter the woman ran to the front of the line and pushed Carter the soldier and Carter the detective aside.

"I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything…" Carter tried to sound humble. "and don't think this means I'm saying yes but where is my ring!"

Carter was a soldier. Carter was a detective. Above all Carter was a woman and diamonds were still a girl's best friend.

There she is Reese thought as he smiled. He loved the soldier. He loved the detective. Above all, he loved the woman.

"Ring?" Reese was bewildered. "What ring? I'm supposed to have a ring?"

"I KNOW you didn't come over here to ask me to marry you and not bring a ring!" Carter was astonished the Reese was so clueless and she tried not to sound shallow. "I KNOW you know better than that John!" she failed.

Reese loved it when she chewed him out over some reckless (or lawless) thing he did and he was enjoying the chewing out now. His smile grew bigger as he reached into his right coat pocket and pulled out a velvet box.

"Detective" he said in a soft voice. "Will you make an honest vigilante out of me?" he asked as his thumb flipped opened the velvet box.

Taking a moment to be rightfully shamed, Carter held Reese's gazed for as long as she could. When she could not stand it anymore, her eyes darted to the velvet box and those tears that were threatening spilled over her eyelids and down her cheeks.

The ring… it was gorgeous…

It did not leave her speechless because it was gorgeous though. It left her speechless because Reese did not forget, because Reese was romantic, in the most traditional way.

"I don't know what to say" Carter whispered as she raised her tear stained face and met Reese's smiling eyes.

"Yes would be good" Reese said as he took her hand and slid the ring on her finger.

Carter enjoyed the whirlwind of emotions she had just experience but the practical, very practical Carter returned.

"We can't" she insisted.

"You're not listening to me" Reese said firmly. "We can… damn it!" Reese exclaimed as his phone rang. "What is it Finch" he said in an irritated voice because he knew what the call meant. "I'm on my way" he said before clicking his phone off. "A new number" Reese said with regret as he pulled out a key from his coat pocket and uncuffed their hands.

He slid the cuffs and key into his pocket as he mentally smiled a very wicked grin and noted that the handcuffs would come in handy... later.

Reese took Carter's previously cuffed hand in his and walked to the door. Turning around to face her, Reese pulled Carter close and kissed her forehead.

"I'll called Fusco if I need anything" he told Carter, wanting her to enjoy her movie.

"OK" Carter smiled, knowing he wanted her to enjoy her movie.

Reese, holding her gaze with his, lifted Carter's hand to his lips and kissed the back of it softly.

"We can" he said quietly as he searched her eyes, beautiful brown eyes that told him just how much she loved him. "Promise me we will."

Searching his eyes, beautiful blue eyes that told her just how much he loved her. "I…"

Practical Carter was still fighting the battling and she would continue to fight… until she could not fight anymore.

Reese knew practical, by the book Carter was back… he knew they were in a tug of war, a battle of wills… wars and battles... they fought many times over the years. Sometimes he won, sometimes she won.

"I gotta go" Vigilante Reese took over.

Leaning down, Reese captured her lips again and they shared a tender kiss.

When the kiss ended, brown eyes looked into blue… blue eyes looked into brown.

No words were spoken… none needed to be said... their eyes spoke loud and clear.

Reese turned, unlocked and opened the door. After he stepped through it, Carter closed the door as Reese waited to hear the click of the deadbolt lock.

As Carter leaned against the locked door, a smile spread across her face… as Reese walked away, a smile spread across his face.

Carter knew she would never let her vigilante go… Reese knew he would never let his detective go.

The cop and the vigilante were bound to be… tied together by an everlasting love... and a pair of handcuffs.

A/N: You may think the title is strange. I am a big fan of The Wire and the term "in bracelets" means that the cops have caught their perp. As we know, Reese was Carter's perp and she wanted him in handcuffs and Carter telling Reese that in Wolf and Cub was the inspiration for the title (and also for the way Reese chose to propose).

As for the ring, I am not good at describing things like that but I did have a ring in mind. I will try to attach a picture of the ring to the story. If I can't just know its a nice ring and Carter's jaw drops when she goes to have it appraised LOL