A/N: Oh my gosh everyone! Ya'll really want to see what's in the box! Special Thanks goes to my partner! (used to be known as becr26 but is now Butterflysparkle97) She helped do the majority brainstorming of the scenes, as we put it together with the editing and tweaking details lol. But it was fun and we hope you enjoy it! I want to just say for the guest reviews, I love getting them but I feel bad sometimes cause I can't reply to them so just to separate guest review from guest review so I can properly reply in a mention (like this author's note) just say guest 1 or leave initials of username or something lol so I can differentiate. Anyways, ya'll ready to see what's in the box?


The vast, crystal waters of the ocean reflected the serene atmosphere of the twilight sky as the sun dipped below the horizon and welcomed the first stars of the evening; lighting the way for the lone white and blue colored vessel that smoothed over the calm sea and its passengers as they continued to sail into the night.

Despite nature setting the mood perfectly, the newlywed couple seemed to be preoccupied on something other than the scenery.

Amanda's eyebrows furrowed slightly with a look of engrossment that took over her calm expression as her fingers softly grazed over the silky purple colored ribbon that was tied neatly over the small pink colored box.

She and Jack still had yet to open the tiny box of mystery Nolan had given them, figuring that they could just wait a while and instead enjoy each other's company.

That didn't mean that her curiosity was dulled however…Not in the slightest…

"What could it be?" Amanda questioned silently to herself. Her inquisitive thoughts were silenced however as she let out a chuckle and smiled, feeling her husband's eyes on her.

"Why are you staring at me?" She asked with amusement, glancing over at Jack. Although she did not make it obvious, she noticed that he had been staring at her, seemingly dazed for quite a while. At first she wasn't going to say anything, but curiosity got the better of her. She had to know.

"Just deep in thought." Jack smiled with a light shrug.

Amanda raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Penny for those thoughts?"

"I'm just admiring how beautiful my wife is."

"Are you now?" Amanda smiled back, his flattery touching her.

He nodded. "And I'm thinking about how wonderful our future together will be."

"Uh huh…And just what, pray tell, does my future now as Mrs. Porter look like to you hmm?" She asked softly, snuggling herself closer to his side and peering into his sky blue colored eyes.

He secures his arm around her shoulders once more. "Well…I can see me selling my current house and us buying a new house together…Of course we'd still keep your dad's beach home, but a new change of scenery should do us both some good; maybe get a new house with one of those cliché white-picket fences with a huge backyard for Carl and our new puppy to play in…and who knows maybe along with two or three more kids all having you as the best mother in the world."

She closed her eyes with a smile, taking in and imagining all of his words playing out so beautifully in her mind up until his last sentence, in which she then looked away and sighed longingly with a wistful smile.

"It's a beautiful thought…It all sounds so perfect…If only I wasn't dead inside…" She muttered the last part sadly with a hint of bitterness. "If only I was able…"

"-Hey." Jack interjects softly, lifting her chin till her eyes caught his once more. "We will find a way." He declared. His tone held absolute certitude. It wasn't a condolence, it was a promise.

"We've always found a way when times were tough, and together, we will find a way to have children. There are plenty of options out there to explore. We'll make it happen Amanda."

His words stirred the hope that she thought was null in her heart and she nodded in response. "We will. I know we will."

"There was one more thing I was thinking about..." Jack added.

She looked at him expectantly.

"…I was just thinking of how I never knew exactly how beautiful you looked with the sunset radiating through your hair, it's rather breathtaking actually." He said, smiling lovingly at her.

"…Jack Porter are you trying to make me blush?" Amanda asked seriously, touching her now rosy cheeks and looking away to hide her bashful expression.

"Too cheesy?" He grinned sheepishly.

A giggle escaped her lips. "Very."

"Mm still left an effect though…" He smirked as he leaned in and gave his wife a soft yet passionate kiss on her lips that she instantly returned.

Once they broke away, Amanda returned her gaze to the imminent night scenery while Jack continued to steer the boat, occasionally staring at his wife again.

…Only to find her gaze was once again contemplative as it stared at the little pink box once more.

Jack raised an eyebrow at her and shook his head with a smile. He then sighed with playful exasperation. "Okay. Let's do it."

"Huh? W-what do you mean?" Amanda asked, slightly startled from being broken out of her thoughts and at his sudden declaration as she blushed slightly.

After all, such words can mean a variety of things on one's wedding night…

Not that she at all minded…

"The box Nolan gave us, let's open it. You've been staring at it for quite a while so I know you're curious. I am too actually, especially since it is Nolan." Jack finished his explanation.

She nodded, picking up the tiny box she sat down next to her underneath the small pillows she rested on earlier. "What do you think is inside?"

"I don't know, but I'm ready to find out if you are." Jack smiled.

"I'd love to." Amanda smiled back. He nodded at her to open it and she untied the purple ribbon from the pink box and opened the lid.

The couple blinked at the box and shared a bewildered look.

"A flash drive?" Jack asked confused.

Amanda shrugged in response, her confused expression matching his, though she didn't know why. After all, it was Nolan Ross and everyone knows how much he adored his technology. "Maybe there's something on it?" She figured.

"Hm…Maybe. I wonder what's on it though." He contemplated. "Tell you what, let me get the boat situated here and we'll go down to the computer to check it out."

"Sounds good." Amanda nodded, approving his idea. She leaned in for a quick kiss before he got up to moor the boat.


Once they were below deck, Amanda and her husband sifted through the various shiny new gadgets and technology that Nolan had installed on the boat, looking for the laptop needed to play the small device. Since Jack's last boating accident, Nolan had so generously equipped his and Amanda's new boat with needed tech to ensure their safety and add a nice touch of convenience. He'd rather his friends be on the safe side, and besides he never missed an opportunity to show off his work.

Once they finally opened the file on the memory device, they saw that it was a video of some sort. They made themselves comfortable on the small makeshift love seat and watched the video.

They were unprepared for what was on the screen however, as it showed the all familiar and nostalgic porch swing of the beach house that was at first empty, but now had someone sitting on it with a weak yet warm smile.

Someone who meant a lot to both of them…

"Dad…" Amanda whispered as she and Jack's eyes widened.

"My dear Amanda, if you are watching this, then that means two things have come to past: You said yes to Jack's proposal and you are finally able to live the life of happiness you've been fighting so long for. But sadly, this time, I won't be able to share that life with you, since by the time you're watching this, my life unfortunately has come to a bitter end…But while my life was long, I only wish that I got to spend more of that time with you. But in the end, the time that we spent together was more than I could have ever dreamed and hoped for. Nonetheless, I know that you are in good hands now. Which is why I dedicate this wedding gift to you, my beloved daughter and to the man who stole her heart and whom I am proud to call my son in law, Jack Porter…While I can't be with both of you physically, I hope I can be there with you in your hearts…"

Amanda barely noticed the tears that streamed down her face or her husband wrapping a comforting arm around her as he pulled her closer to him as they continued watching the video with an intense focus.

"Jack, ever since the very first day I saw you playing on the beach with my sweet and little innocent Amanda, I knew that something special was happening with the both of you. And although the concept of fate can be questionable for many, somehow, I just knew that you two were meant to be together. And your outstanding bond that lasted through time is proof that you were destined to find each other…I'll never forget how happy Amanda was that day. How she kept expressing how excited she was that she made a new best friend…"

Amanda sniffed as she thought about the day she met the young boy by the name of Jack Porter…


"Here Sammy, I found a stick for you!" Amanda giggled happily presenting the piece of driftwood that she played tug-of-war with her puppy, not noticing that Sammy brought along company.

"What's his name?" The voice that tagged along asked innocently with curiosity.

"Sam." She chuckled in response as the puppy continued to paw the piece of wood.

"He sure likes sticks!" The boy chuckled along with her.

"Fetch it Sammy!" Amanda cheered as she threw the wood.

"Nice throw!" The boy complimented.

"Thanks…" She smiled and shrugged shyly.

She noticed that the boy was tall, with dark brown curly hair, striking blue eyes, and a bright smile that matched hers.

She liked him instantly.

"I'm Jack." The boy smiled in greeting.

"I'm Amanda." She smiled back.

They then heard the puppy bark far away.

"Oh no! Sammy come back!" Amanda yelled as she chased the puppy down to the water's edge. Jack followed behind her.

David Clarke watched them from further away, simply admiring the way his daughter interacted with the puppy and then later with the boy who befriended her as they chased after Sammy.

"Sammy, you silly puppy!" Amanda giggled as she watched the dog enter the water to go after the drifting piece of wood.

"He's a nice looking dog." Jack complimented as they watched him bark at the still drifting away piece of wood.

"Yeah, but sometimes he doesn't like to listen much." Amanda laughed as she tried to coax the dog back to her, but to no avail.

"Would you like me to get him for you?" He offered.

Amanda nods her head and smiles shyly once more.

Jack then tried to enter the water but shivered. "It's cold!" He exclaimed.

"It's not so bad once you get used to it." Amanda said with a shrug, using the advice her father taught her of how to ease into the water.

"H-how did you do that?" Jack asked, watching her approach the chilling waves with little to no difficulty as he continued to shiver.

"Sorry, that's a secret!" Amanda smiled. "My daddy taught me! And he's always right."

"Well here's your dog." Jack said as he picked up the now dripping wet puppy.

"T-thank you." She blushed as he put him in her arms.

"N-no problem." He smiled back sheepishly.

"W-want to play tug-of-war with us?" Amanda offered shyly.

"Sure! I'd love to." Jack replied brightly.

After the two kids spent hours playing with Sammy, it was getting later as the sun began to set. Amanda heard her father call out to her.

"That's my daddy." Amanda said sadly, knowing that his beckoning meant that it was time to go and that their day of fun has come to an end. They suddenly heard another man's voice call after Jack.

"Yeah, my dad's calling me too. Guess I better go." Jack replied somberly.

"Um…See that cool house over there? I live there! M-maybe we can play again over there some time…" She says pointing to it.

"Neat! I live at the boat docks and that sounds like fun." Jack replied.

They each heard their respective fathers call out for them again.

"It was nice meeting you Amanda! Will I see you again soon?" Jack asked hopefully.

"I hope so!" Amanda nodded with a shy smile.

Jack waved her goodbye with a smile and ran off. She returned it, unaware of the warmth that continued to fill her cheeks.


Amanda Porter then smiled through her tears and looked at her husband. He smiled back at her once he felt her gaze on him. As they looked deeply into each other's eyes, they knew that they were both remembering that special moment of when they first met.

The video continued as they heard David chuckle lightly as he kept speaking.

"I remember teasing Amanda all that week and the next that she had a boyfriend, a fact she constantly denied of course."


"So…I saw you on the beach with your boyfriend earlier," David said as he cuddled up on the couch with Amanda snug in his arms.

"H-he's not my boyfriend!" Amanda replied, once again unaware of the strange warmth that filled her face.

"It was so cute. I wish your mom was here to see you with your very first crush...They grow up so fast…" David continued, smiling jokingly as he watched his daughter's face flush a brighter red.

"He's not my boyfriend!" Amanda protested once more even louder as she sits up on the couch to look at her father.

"Oh I saw the way he looked and you and the way you looked at him...You like him don't you?" David replied wiggling his eyebrows.

"I-I DO NOT!" Amanda shouted with a slight stutter.

"Mandy, you're blushing…" David pointed out.

"N-no I'm not," Amanda replied with folded arms, denying what her dad was telling her. She wasn't even ten years old yet so of course she didn't even know what having a boyfriend even meant!

But at the same time, she also couldn't understand why her stomach felt funny, or why her face felt warmer, or especially why her heart beat faster when she thought about seeing that boy again.

"Amanda…" David replied with a knowing smile.

"Just stop it daddy! Please!" Amanda pleaded, clearly starting to get upset.

"Alright, alright." David replied kissing his daughter's forehead. She smiled in relief as her dad dropped the subject. But even though she was denying it, he knew that Amanda had a crush on the young boy she had met on the beach.


"Wow…You denied it that much?" Jack asked with a slight smirk as he paused the video.

"Well yeah, I did...I mean I was a little girl! How was I supposed to know what love was? All I knew was that I wanted a friend and finally got one; one that just so happened to be cool, smart, funny, and kind of cute, but that's all." Amanda said, slightly uncomfortable.

"Yeah, sure," he replied, not losing the smug expression. "That's what we call denial."

"Just continue the video." Amanda smirked back.

Jack caught on to her hidden threat and quickly pressed play on the video.

"But along with the happy moments of you two together, there were times where it was not-so-fun between you two as well. I remember your first fight like it was yesterday. You two were rolling around in the sand with Sammy and Jack's father captured the moment by taking a picture of you two. Later on, after you both decided to do a sandcastle building contest, Amanda had built a sandcastle bigger than Jack's and he kept teasing how he would mess it up, or something would happen to it. After Amanda left for a moment and came back, next thing we all knew, her castle was a pile of sand with Jack on top of it. She was so upset, she never wanted to see or talk to him again…"


"MY SANDCASTLE!" Amanda's eyes widened in horror at the ruins of her masterpiece. Her teary eyes then fell upon the boy that laid on top of the compiled load of sand and sea shells.

"WHY DID YOU SQUASH MY SANDCASTLE?!" She yelled at Jack angrily.

"HEY IT'S NOT MY FAULT! I TRIPPED!" Jack yelled back angrily.

"LIAR! IT IS TOO YOUR FAULT! YOU KEPT SAYING YOU WERE GONNA KNOCK IT DOWN AND YOU DID!"

"DID NOT!" Jack yelled back.

"DID TOO!" She yelled louder.

"DID NOT!" Jack yelled even louder.

"DID TOO!" Amanda yelled even more loudly. She barely heard the sound of her father coming outside from the beach house, reprimanding her for the loud tone and demanding to know what was going on as the shouting match continued.

"Look it's no big deal. Just build a new one!" Jack said, exasperated.

"No! My sandcastle was already perfect! It took me ages to build it!" She glared at him.

"Yeah, well you'll have to build it again then," Jack replied spitefully.

"NO WAY!" Amanda screamed.

"Amanda!"

"I'm telling my daddy! Then he's going to tell your daddy, then you're going to be in trouble!" Amanda threatened.

"Not if I tell mine first!" Jack retorted with a glare.

Amanda then ran off but not before yelling tearfully, "I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU! WE'RE NOT FRIENDS ANYMORE!"

Once she ran home and got an earful from her father, she then told him everything that happened.

"He squashed my sandcastle daddy! You have to tell his dad! And then I NEVER want to see him AGAIN!" Amanda said tearfully.

"Mandy, that's a bit harsh don't you think? You were only having fun and besides I'm sure it was an accident if he said he tripped." David said in an effort to calm his fuming daughter down, but to no avail.

"But he destroyed it! It took me forever to build it and make it perfect!" Amanda insisted stubbornly.

"Well it's a good thing that I took a picture of it so you can recreate it. Maybe you'll make an even better one than before." David said trying to reassure his little girl.

"Good idea. Thanks dad." Amanda replied with a stiff nod.

"But while sandcastles can be rebuilt over and over again, friendships aren't that easy Amanda. You have to forgive and work this out with Jack." David explained.

"Well too bad, because I don't want to talk to him or see him again." Amanda folded her arms.

"Amanda! He's your best friend! You two have been playing together all half this summer and now you want to call it quits over a sandcastle?"

"He destroyed it. I know he did. And he's not my friend anymore." She murmured as she stomped off inside the beach house.

David shook his head at his daughter's antics before chuckling. "Oh well, nothing to worry about. They'll work it out. Those two are inseparable. She'll be begging to see him again first thing in the morning."

An entire week passed and Amanda Clarke still refused to talk to her ex-best friend Jack Porter.


"Really? You were that pissed to where you never wanted to see me again?" Jack asked as he paused the video once more.

"Well I was kind of was furious that you wrecked my castle…" Amanda said with a guilty smile.

"Okay one: I told you. I. Tripped. And two: don't you think that was a little over dramatic? I mean all this over a sandcastle?"

She glared jokingly, pointing at his chest. "Hey I'll have you know that it was a very nice sandcastle and took me forever to build. That, and I was kind of stubborn when it came to holding a grudge…Especially since I gave you the cold shoulder for an entire week…" She admitted guiltily.

"Oh yeah, I remember. I remember that damn well." He said, pinching the bridge of his nose at the bitter memory. "Truthfully, that had to be one of the worst weeks of my life and the second worst time of my life when I was younger."

"Okay, now who's being a little over dramatic? But for the record…it was for me too. Wait a second, if that was your second worst time ever when we were kids, then what was your first?"

Jack went silent, a cold look in his eyes as they looked down for a moment. "…When they took you away."

Amanda then also went silent, wincing at the memory and shaking her head, but gently grasping her husband's hand, lacing their fingers as she gave him a smile of comfort: reassuring him that she was not going anywhere.

He returned the smile, a tiny chuckle escaping his lips. "Remember how we made up again?"

She breathed a small chuckle in return. "Of course."

She pressed play on the video.


David then knew he needed to talk to his daughter, he may have underestimated how badly she could hold a grudge, but enough was enough. They needed to set things straight. Before he could go upstairs to his daughter's room, he heard a knock on the door.

It was Jack.

"Oh, Jack! What a surprise." David greeted with an uneasy yet sympathetic smile.

"Hi Mr. Clarke. Is um…Is Amanda home?" Jack greeted and asked quietly with his hands behind his back.

"Well-"

"DADDY IF JACK COMES OVER, PLEASE TELL HIM THAT I'M NOT SPEAKING TO HIM EVER!" Amanda's voice thundered from upstairs.

"She's still mad then?" Jack asked, though it was more of a statement.

"I was about to go up and talk to her again and tell her that you both need to work things out. It's just not worth ending a great friendship like you both have over something as silly as a sandcastle."

"Well she did work really hard on it…and I did kind of mess it up…even though I tripped on accident and she's too stubborn to accept that!" Jack grumbled bitterly but sighed, continuing, "I don't blame her for being upset. At first I was just gonna wait until she apologized first, but it's been like a week and...I miss her. I just want to be friends again."

"She feels the same way Jack. She won't admit it, but I caught her crying over you at night wishing to be your friend again too."

"Sh-she was crying?" Jack asked sadly, detesting that he made his best friend cry.

"She was."

"What can I do Mr. Clarke? I want us to be friends again, but she won't even talk to me!"

"I wouldn't worry too much about it Jack. Amanda can't stay mad forever, she may seem like it, but she's not one to hold a grudge for too long. She'll realize how important friendship is more than anything. I'm going to go have a talk with her. In the meantime, maybe you should make it up to her."

"I-I had an idea actually…Would you happen to have that picture of the sandcastle she built?" Jack asked sheepishly.

"I do, why?" David asked with an eyebrow raised.

"Can I borrow it for a few hours? I think I'm going to need it."

"What do you have planned?" David asked with a knowing smile as he gave Jack the photograph.

"You'll see. Thanks Mr. Clarke!" Jack smiled lightly, running off.

After having a long talk with her father, and finally admitting that she missed having Jack around, Amanda decided that she would be willing to forgive Jack and wanted to be friends again. She was still upset that he messed up her sandcastle, but when she really thought about it, it was just a sandcastle. Her father was right as always. She could always build another one, even better than before if she wanted to, there was a ton of sand everywhere on the beach after all…but there was only one Jack Porter…Only one best friend she and Sammy loved to play with and have around.

She told her dad that she wanted to go visit Jack to apologize for her behavior, but for some reason her father encouraged her to go on without him and that he'd catch up in a little bit.

As soon as she walked outside however, her eyes widened at the sight before her.

There in front of her sandy yard, stood a big and tall sandcastle complete with a makeshift draw-bridge, mote, and littered with seashells along with something else shiny, colorful, and blue that caught her eye immediately.

"Surprise!"

She turned around to find a slightly out of breath Jack Porter covered in sand, a little mud, and holding a pail and shovel in his hands.

"Jack! Y-you made this sand castle?" She gasped.

Jack just nodded still trying to catch his breath.

"It's so pretty! I mean it's really great Jack! Better than the one I did! Nice job. You must be happy to have finally made yourself something so awesome." She praised sincerely while also hoping her polite kindness would help them become friends again.

"It's not mine. I didn't build it for myself." Jack stated.

Amanda blinked in confusion. "Then wha-"

"-I built it for you…To make up for the one I ruined. I'm…sorry about that by the way. And sorry for yelling and stuff…" Jack apologized softly.

"Thank you Jack….And…I'm sorry too. I'm sorry for yelling and being so mean…I was upset, and I worked really hard on my castle, but it's just a bunch of sand. I can build it again, but daddy told me that friendship isn't easy to build back up like building sandcastles are…So I'm sorry too. Friends?" Amanda apologized sincerely and shrugged her shoulders shyly, offering her hand for his to shake, hoping that he would consider her offer of being friends again.

Jack took it instantly with a smile, nodding. "Friends."

"Best friends again?" She tried once more still not letting go as they shook hands.

"The bestest!" Jack smiled even bigger.

Once they laughed together, happy that they mended their friendship, Amanda ran over and examined the sandcastle Jack built for her.

"Wow! It's amazing!" She breathed in awe.

"I know it's cool right? It's got a mote, and shells, and everything you had before and more! You really like it?" Jack asked.

"I love it a whole lot! Especially these shells! They're so shiny and blue! I've never seen anything like it!"

"Silly, those aren't shells. That's sea glass!" Jack chuckled.

"Sea glass?" Amanda raised an eyebrow curiously.

"Uh huh. It comes from broken bottles that get smoothed over in the ocean and make a cool blueish color like these. Sometimes I like to collect them, but thought it would look cool on the castle."

"It looks great! Hey I know! Let's go collect some more sea glass right now!" Her eyes brightened as she grabbed his hand and ran, dragging him down the beach.


"The next thing I knew, you two were best friends again and stronger than ever. It's almost funny how one moment you two were ready to cross out each other's faces on photographs with your own red crayons and the next, you both were bragging about the jar of sea glass you two collected and called your special treasure…But no matter how hard things got, or how badly you both messed up, you could never stay away from each other. You two realized that the bond you shared was stronger than what threatened to break it apart. Even when you both WERE eventually broken apart…and from what Amanda had told me about what you two endured through the past four years along with what I've seen in the past year alone, I can tell that you both have been through quite the ringer, but rose up like a phoenix from the ashes. Remember that bond. Remember those small fleeting moments of happiness and never underestimate its power. It may end up being the key to what gets you through the most trying of times. There will be struggles. Especially in marriage. But remembering what brought you together in the first place, along with consistent work to keep the bond growing, will help you both stand strong through the most violent of storms…but I'm sure you knew that already.

Cuddled even closer together, eyes never leaving the screen, and occasionally chuckling softly along with David's weak laughs until they occasionally turned into painful coughing fits, Jack and Amanda continued to watch the video.

"And speaking of marriage…Of course I can't forget to include that fateful day on the beach. I think it was the best game of pretend Amanda had ever imagined and conjured up yet…who knew it would be a prelude to this very moment? That was such a beautiful day…"

Both Jack and Amanda's smiles grew as they both thought about that sunny day on the beach where they pretended to be wed.

"Still to this day I can vividly remember the conversation you two had about how many children you would have together after I married you off on the beach…Even though it was just pretend, Amanda took it so seriously. It was almost easy to forget that you two were just playing house!"


The couple took a quick glance at each other before letting out another chuckle as they remembered the topic of their conversation back then very well…


"We just can't have one kid! We have to have at least two, that way the first one won't be lonely!" Amanda protested raising her pointer finger and tapping it on the table as emphasis to her point.

The pair were sitting at the dinner table in the beach house having some cake that Amanda's dad had brought from a party at his job. David just sat on the other side of the table watching on in fascination as he took a sip of his coffee. It was amazing to him how kids could both make light of and yet have such a serious conversation about such an adult topic such as managing a household.

"But I want to get 6 dogs! How can you have 6 dogs and two kids if the house only has like 2 or 3 bedrooms?" Jack asked confused as he took another bite of his cake, trying not to get frosting on his pipe cleaner ring.

"Um, kids, I'm going to be the mediator in this conversation and say that's it's all very hypothetical."

Jack and Amanda blinked in confusion at David's use of vocabulary.

David chuckled and simplified his point. "In other words, you don't have to take the subject of having kids and the adult life so seriously right now. Remember it's just a fun game of pretend! And besides, you're only kids, which means you both have plenty of time to figure out things like working on your marriage, kids, and all that stuff. "

"I know that daddy…But since we're pretending, we have to think about this stuff now! You know how the song goes! 'First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage'. And now that we're married, that means we need to know how many babies we're going to have." Amanda explained.

"-And dogs!" Jack added.

"Well, then why don't you just compromise and split them both." David joked.

"How do we do that? We can't just split them all in half! That'll hurt them!" Amanda exclaimed.

"I think he means split the number of dogs and babies we'll have. Like divisions and fractions." Jack explained wisely but then cringed since he hated those subjects of math.

"Ooh! That makes sense! We can do that!" Amanda nodded with a smile as she ran off to get her toy baby dolls and plush animal toy dogs that would serve as their pretend children and pets.


"Oh god…I remember how that turned out…" Amanda nearly face palmed as she paused the video.

"Yeah me too. We were trying to do the math but got tired of doing math, but before we could come to a decision, Sammy literally chewed up all the toys and split them apart…We ended up having one and a half babies and dogs because their limbs snapped off from his rampage…" Jack finished recalling the memory with a laugh.

"But we still said we'd love them all no matter what condition they were in cause they were ours…" Amanda laughed lightly as she shook her head. "The things we did as kids…" She then pressed play on the video for the final time.

"It's amazing how simple things were back then…And how drastically it all changed in an instant…I wish things could be as easy as you made them when you were little when it came to the topic of adulthood and having kids, but I know that after such dark times and circumstances that wrought out all our lives that it's not as simple anymore…"

Amanda heaved a shaky sigh and put a hand on her stomach in longing. Her husband put his hand on top of hers and squeezed it, silently comforting and consoling her; urging her to not lose hope despite the circumstances.

"But in the words of my wise son-in-law, 'nobody knows what the future holds, but if you're an optimist that just means that anything's possible.'

This made Jack smile instantly while Amanda continued to watch the screen.

"No matter what, I firmly believe that there is hope for you two to still make it and have a beautiful family. Obstacles have never stopped you two before, and I know that it won't have a damn chance against you both now. As long as you both remember to work and stand together. I do wish that I had more time with you to be a part of your journey, because I know without a doubt that you two will end up creating the family you both deserve to have, and that Carl is going to be a wonderful big brother, as well as a fine young man someday with you two as parents."

This made Amanda smile as hope and determination filled her heart to the brim. She and Jack will expand on their family. She vowed that they would find a way, and until then, she would fully cherish and embrace the family she now had with their beloved little Carl and puppy.

"Well…Nolan was generous enough to put this altogether, but he's saying I should wrap it up soon since I'm feeling the meds kick in…Now as far as fatherly requests and or demands go, Jack, look after my precious Amanda. As you well know, she's one hell of a catch. And Amanda do the same for Jack, and try not to drive each other too crazy. The couples that are meant to be are the ones that go through everything that's designed to tear them apart and come out even stronger. Make an effort every day, make each other smile; laugh, cry, talk, agree, disagree, and just be there for each other no matter what. And most importantly, remember to both communicate and forgive. Trust me when I say that it not only comes in handy when it comes to marriage, it's dire when it comes to marriage."

Both Jack and Amanda felt their visions blur with tears as they watched David wipe his own tears on screen as he continued speaking emotionally. "I wish you both a joyous, long, and fulfilling marital journey and life in general. Above all else, may your bond last for as long as how much I love you…and that is-"

"-Infinity times infinity…" Amanda and Jack whispered in unison with David as he finished speaking and the screen went black.

The couple continued to stare at the black screen as a wave of emotions overtook them: especially Amanda. Just earlier, she was imagining her father there amidst the crowd, smiling with pride as she walked down the aisle. It was a comforting mechanism at best that helped her get through the day since she knew that he was not present nor would he ever be again…

But after watching that video, she realized that his presence was there after all…and would always be with her for infinity times infinity…

This truly was the best wedding gift she had ever received. And she would be forever grateful to Nolan for helping to put this together: making her special day, a day to always remember.

"Are you okay?" Jack asked his wife softly.

Amanda nodded, slowly nodding as she shrugged. "I don't know what to feel…It's so weird because I feel a mixture of happiness and agony at the same time…It was just so…so beautiful…and getting to see him again…with him knowing what happened today and wishing us a happy life just made it like…like…"

"-Like he was a part of it. And he was…he always will be…" Jack finished, embracing his wife and gently bringing her head to rest on his chest as she nodded, letting the tears stream down her face silently.

Amanda sniffed. "I don't even know why I want to…I mean I-I'm so happy and yet-"

"Shh…You can let it out…I'm right here..." Jack whispered as he rocked her gently, kissing her forehead softly as she huddled deeper into his chest underneath his protective embrace, crying softly.


Later on that night, after everything was calm, Jack and Amanda cuddled close on the boat deck, gazing at the stars as they clinked their glasses of wine and enjoyed a tasteful dinner Jack had prepared for them.

"Thank you…" Amanda uttered softly to her husband.

"For what?" Jack asked looking at his wife.

"For everything…and for putting up with me all these years…I know it wasn't easy for us to get to this point, but even when it was just plain hell…even when you had enough…you never truly gave up on me. You never gave up on us. You have no idea how thankful I am for that…and how much I love that about you…" Amanda said with a heartfeltly with a smile.

"Well, I'd be lying if I said you made it easy…" Jack deadpanned with a smirk, making his wife give him a look, before he caressed her cheek, gazing lovingly into her eyes as he finished softly, "but that's what I signed up for. And I don't regret a single moment…"

They kissed each other tenderly before turning their gazes back to the starry sky. Well, at least Amanda started to until she felt eyes on her once more. She chuckled softly, rolling her eyes. "Okay, now why are you staring at me?"

"Just deep in thought again." Jack smiled with a light shrug once more.

"Another penny for those thoughts?" She challenged.

"Just taking in everything that happened today and all the great gifts…I mean first a new furry addition to our family and then a heartfelt gift of happy wishes and farewells from David…Can't see how it can get any better since everything actually went right for once." Jack chuckled lightly.

She remained silent for a moment, licking her lips before turning her gaze up to him. "Actually…I may have another special present for you…"She started coyly.

"Oh? Is that right? And what exactly is this special present?" He asked and smirked in amusement.

"Mm can't tell ya…You'll have to take me below deck to find out…" She teased, having a glint of mischievousness in her sultry gaze.

"Can I at least know if it came giftwrapped?" He joked, staring ardently into her chocolate brown eyes, catching on to her hint.

"Maybe it did…but it requires a bit of unwrapping to get to the good part…" She purred seductively against his lips.

Amanda was then taken off guard as Jack gently took her wine glass from her hand and placed it on the deck before sweeping her up abruptly into his arms and walking off, making her erupt in a giggle fit. "What are you doing?"

"Well I don't exactly have a threshold to carry you across, so I'm winging it." He chuckled heading below deck.

"What about dinner?" She asked teasingly, yet with barely concealed excitement for what was to come.

"Not hungry anymore. Now, I'm in the mood for unwrapping my special present." He whispered huskily against her lips, before pecking them briefly and continuing to their destination.

And so that day was marked the day Jack and Amanda Porter started the rest of their lives together, along with the infinite legacy David Clarke left behind.

In a quote from Darlene Schacht, she said that "marriage is a thousand little things. It's giving up your right to be right in the heat of an argument. It's forgiving another when they let you down. It's loving someone enough to step down so that they can shine. It's friendship. It's being a cheerleader and a trusted confidant. It's a place of forgiveness that welcomes one home, and arms that they can run to in the midst of a storm. It's Grace. It's giving of yourself tirelessly down paths you'd never imagine to travel. Through sickness and pain, poverty and loss, it's carrying the weight of another. It's being the smile they see in the morning, and the body they hold close at night. It's pure love. It's standing together in the face of adversity. It's riding alongside each other in a battle that threatens to tear down your marriage and seeks to grab hold of your faith. It's strength under pressure. It's listening to the heart of another and understanding their pain. It's offering words of encouragement when they need it most. It's walking hand-in-hand in the park, and a gentle kiss in the pouring rain. It's laughing together. It's endless compassion. It's love." That being said, such influential and beautiful words can serve as a path to a successful marriage for many as long as they keep in mind the definition of what marriage is. But these mere words are just inclusions for what marriage is supposed to be, but in reality, marriage is exactly what you and your partner put into it. In my case, it's easy to say been there and done that to a lot of these qualities, since my husband and I have been through hell's fire and back, but we still have a long journey ahead of us that is just beginning, so much has changed, including us, there is no telling where we'll end up or what will happen in the unknown future. But holding onto my father's infinite legacy that will be forever engraved in my heart, I can say with absolute certainty that we are ready and eager to forge on ahead.