Here's the last chapter! It's another shorty, sorry. I hope you guys enjoyed this story and didn't feel it was too OOC.
Daniel emerged from Caroline's bedroom shirtless, wearing a pair of plaid pajama bottoms and a big grin.
"I finished that Sudoku book," he said proudly, kissing Caroline on the cheek and taking the cup of green tea she was holding out to him.
"Already?! I just got that for you two weeks ago, at the airport. It has 200 puzzles!"
"Yep," Daniel said with a smile, sitting down at the kitchen table. Caroline smiled and sat down across from him, sipping her coffee.
"Hey, I have a crazy idea," Daniel said. Caroline laughed, her blue-gray eyes shining with happiness. Daniel winked.
"What would you say to getting a dog?"
"Oh, Daniel, I wish I could, but my allergies…," she said wistfully.
"There are a lot of species that are hypoallergenic. I had Lewicki do some research for me," Daniel said, getting up and walking back into the bedroom to get his briefcase. He grabbed some papers and went back to the table. "Here."
Caroline flipped through the printouts of dog species that were hypoallergenic and didn't shed, her smile growing. She looked up at Daniel.
"Do you really mean it? Would you want to take care of it?"
"I think I could do it. I've been doing alright at taking care of myself lately, and I know it would make you happy."
Caroline grinned. "It's so nice to see you like this."
"Happy. Excited. Full of life. It's been a month, and you're almost a different person."
"I am still very much the same. I do puzzles, give the same lectures, solve cases with Kate…"
"But your meds are working, and you haven't had any hallucinations."
Daniel nodded. "True." He hadn't told anyone, not even his shrink, about his last dream of Natalie. It was their goodbye, and his own personal closure.
He still kept to his schedule and his medications. He and Caroline were doing well, and he was happy in a way he never imagined for himself. They had developed a more regular, comfortable pattern of switching off whose house they stayed at than the strict schedule they had when they first starting dating. Now, it wasn't lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays, but lunch whenever it worked out. Marriage was far away, but moving in together was a possibility in the near future.
Every day, Daniel still ached for his friendship with Natalie. It had been unlike anything he ever had or would have with Caroline, Kate, or Lewicki. If she was still around, the life he had now would be impossible. So while he missed her, he knew that moving on was what was best.
So, for the first time in over twenty years, he hadn't seen her in 22 days. And he never would again.