A/N: This chapter feels nicer if you read the prologue once again before you come back to this! [You'll know what I mean]
Nick lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling as the first light of the morning woke him up. The warm breath that tickled his neck made him smile. Her hand was sprawled across his stomach and he lifted it gently for a moment to allow himself to turn towards her. She was nestled into his right side, just under his arm.
He'd made a habit of watching her sleep every morning just to remind himself that all of this was real. As he watched her, his mind went back to the ring that was in the back of the drawer in his nightstand; a vintage silver band with a fragile creeper entwined around it, and the smallest of diamonds set into the ring in place of what would've been flowers on the silver creeper. It had, of course, been approved by Cece. He'd known Jess would've loved it the moment he'd seen it, but seeing an excited smile replace Cece's annoyed features ( a result of hours of Nick's relentless pursuit for the perfect ring ) had that made him all the more confident.
Schmidt had been enraged that he'd taken Cece and not him of course.
"After everything I've done for you, Nicholas!"
It had only been a week since that afternoon in the closet, but it had been a surreal week. Maybe one week after was too soon, but he was two years late to this moment. He had never been surer of anything else.
Ever since he'd bought the ring yesterday afternoon, he'd been debating how to go about it. Something grand or simple and sweet? Beach or high-end restaurant? Just the two of them or at a surprise gathering? Daytime or in the night?
As he watched the sunlight dance across her hair, and her slightly parted lips, his smile grew wider. His eyes darted to her fingers splayed across his stomach and he started imagining the ring on her finger, and felt his heart beat a little faster. Biting his lower lip, he looked at her carefully to see if she was still asleep; if she was, she was probably knocked out cold because she'd always been a heavy sleeper.
He turned slightly reaching for his nightstand, eyes on her to make sure he didn't disturb her, though he doubted he would. He opened the drawer and felt around for the small box that held the ring. Grabbing hold of that, he turned to her again, staring at her sleeping form for a few seconds while playing with the box with his other hand.
Slowly, he turned on his back again, her hand still across his stomach. Holding her wrist so that his thumb was pressed into her palm, he pulled her hand upwards and placed it next to the small box. He took the box again, and gently pried the ring out of the seat before placing the box on the nightstand. Holding her ring along its circumference, he delicately slipped his fingers under hers, and tilted her hand towards him a little bit - his thumb was resting above her knuckles.
He slipped the finger onto her ring finger and stared at it till his eyes started to tear up a little. It looked like it was tailormade for her delicate hands and he was half-tempted to just wake her up and propose to her right away. But he had to do it right.
Maybe I will do it on the beach, after all! It'll be just-
"It's on the wrong hand, Nicholas," she murmured, eyes still closed, cutting his plans short.
Nick tensed, as his breathing hitched. Had she been awake this whole time?
Of course, you idiot. She just said that you put it on the wrong hand.
"Oh, shit," he muttered, flustered and confused as to what to do next. He quietly brought his hand to his lips and gave her ring finger a small kiss before taking off the ring. Still unsure of what to say, and growing increasingly nervous at this unexpected turn of events, he turned to grab the box of the nightstand. He felt Jess move next to him and felt her chin sit on his chest, as she reached out to tug his arm lightly.
He turned to look at her questioningly, and saw that she was smiling at him. Her cheek was now resting on his chest and fingers lightly drumming right over his heart. As he watched, she moved her left hand from between them and propped it on her elbow, her fingers stretched towards him.
"I said it's on the wrong hand," she said with emphasis.
He stared at her dumbfounded, his gaze going back and forth between her face and her hand. After the initial wave of shock had passed, he started to smile as well. Her eyes were dancing with laughter, and he had never felt as good about himself as he did in that moment. Tilting his head towards her, he met her expectant lips and kissed her, a gentle, meaningful kiss. He pulled back and held her propped up left hand, tracing circles on her palm. He looked down at her to see that she was already staring at him, the slightest gleam of tears catching the morning light as he saw her lips tugging into a disbelieving smile.
"Jessica Day, I love you. More than you can imagine, possibly since I first saw you," he breathed, chuckling slightly as she stared at him, lips slightly parted with wonder. "You complete me. I don't know what I would do without you in my life, and I don't ever want to know. Will you marry me?"
"Of course, I will. I will marry you Nick Miller, because I know what I would do without you and I don't ever want to do that again," she sniffled, as she watched him grin and slide the ring on to her finger.
"Good," he said, pressing a kiss to her forehead as she moved up to rest her head on his shoulder. "No more of those stupid lists. I don't ever want to see those around the house."
"Don't be silly, Nick. Of course, there'll be lists," sighed Jess dramatically. "We have our wedding to plan," she said, grinning, bringing their intertwined hands to her lips and planting a chaste kiss on one of his fingers.
"Well, I'm willing to make an exception for that," he said, laughing.
As he leaned in to kiss her again, she threw one leg over his waist to pull him closer to her and cupped his face with her hands. The beautiful ring that she didn't ever want to take off her hand, caught the sunlight and she smiled against his lips.
Three months. 12 weeks. 72 days. 1728 hours.
So much can change in that much time.
A/N: And that's all! Thanks for sticking around, guys, and for all your lovely reviews. This is the last chapter, so I'd really love it if all of you who've been reading this can leave me reviews, even the smallest ones will do!
I know some of you might've liked a grander proposal, but I dunno, this felt just right.