thanks so much for the reviews, follows, and favorites! and thanks for following and favoriting me! :) hope you like this update :)
again, i'm sorry it's been taking me as long as it has been! this is actually the ending to this story, so i really hope you like it!

How It Should Be

2 years later

Kelly gave Lacey exactly what she wanted by marrying her at the courthouse and promised to do the same thing for the rest of his life; whatever he had to for both his girls to be happy. While things were chaotic leading up to Zoe's birth and then after the accident at the building, things starting to turn around for the firehouse family. Things hadn't just turned around though, they were better than ever.

He wondered how things could be any more perfect as he was sitting at work with the others in the common room, spotting Lacey coming in with two year old Zoe. Her hair was still dark and was a short mess of girls, her eyes big and blue like her dad's. Zoe looked just about as excited to see him as he was to see her, missing her when he went in for his shifts. Lacey let go of Zoe's hand, letting her take off towards her father.

"Daddy!" Zoe cheered as he scooped her up to sit in his lap.

"Hi sweetheart," Kelly greeted her, kissing her cheek and making her giggle. "Hi Lace," he smiled at her.

"Hey," Lacey grinned, leaning over to kiss him. "Happy anniversary," she said softly, smiling at him.

Today was the two year anniversary of when they officially got married at the courthouse, having a party a few weeks later at Molly's like they planned. Casey and Dawson were the only ones out of their close group that missed the wedding. Later that day though as they were leaving the courthouse for home, they got the call from Casey letting them know that Dawson was awake and could come home in a few days. He and Dawson were married for almost a year now.

"Hi Uncle Matt," Zoe waved at Casey as he came in.

"Hey!" he smiled at her, holding up his hand which she hit, with him recently teaching her what a high five was. "What are you guys doing here?"

"We wanted to stop by and say hi before heading over to the Darden house," Lacey explained.

After some time away, Heather wanted to bring the boys back to Chicago to be close with their family. They had moved back three months before and everyone was adjusting well. With everyone back in Chicago and enough time passing, Katie felt comfortable moving back to the city and would be moving into her new place in two weeks.

"Are you going to see Sean and Jack?" Kelly asked Zoe excitedly, who nodded enthusiastically. "Have you talked to Shay at all?" he asked Lacey now.

Shay was now nearing her due date, as her and Erin had finally selected a donor and the IVF process had worked for them luckily on the first try. Once she was starting to show, she switched off the ambulance for teaching at the academy, just until she delivered. Once her maternity leave was over she would be back at house 51. They had found out that they were having a boy, and knowing how close they had all been, Erin suggested naming him Andy.

"Ah, she's going to stop by after her last class today," Lacey nodded. "Erin's going to bring her over."

"Nooo, she's not," Dawson grinned, coming into the room now, putting her phone back in her pocket. "Guys, that was Erin. Shay's in labor!" Zoe looked around in confusion at all the noise while everyone was excited that Shay was having the baby.

"Aunt Shay's baby is coming," Lacey told her and the toddler's mouth dropped open.

"Baby's here?" she asked in awe. She had been so excited for the new baby to come, asking all the time when he would be here.

"Almost!" Lacey grinned. "Do you wanna go see?" Zoe nodded excitedly as Lacey took her back from Kelly.

"That's not fair," Kelly protested, laughing a little. None of them could go to the hospital since they were all on shift, unable to go until the morning.

"Sure it is," Lacey grinned, kissing him again before turning to go.

"Don't you dare hold that baby before me!" Kelly faked warned her and she laughed as she went out the door.


Shay wasn't in labor long, having the baby soon after Lacey arrived at the hospital with Zoe. After spending some time alone with their new baby, a beautiful blonde haired, green eyed baby boy named Andy, Erin went out into the waiting room to grab Lacey, who called the others to let them know the baby was here and healthy.

"Oh my God," Lacey grinned as she came into the room carrying Zoe who's eyes were big.

"Hi baby," Zoe waved at the new born.

"Hi name is Andy," Shay smiled at her.

"He is so sweet!" Lacey gushed. "Congratulations you guys." She was ecstatic when Shay and Erin shared the news that they were going to try to have a baby. She knew that was what Shay had wanted ever since Clarice blew through her life a second time. Now she had everything she wanted and someone worthwhile to share it with.

"Thanks," Erin said and Shay grinned as well. "Here," she held out her hands and Lacey passed Zoe to her. "How's my favorite niece?"

"Good," Zoe giggled as Erin kissed her head.

"You wanna hold him?" Shay was asking Lacey who nodded enthusiastically, accepting the tiny baby from her best friend.

"Oh, Uncle Kelly is going to be so mad," Lacey teased softly. "But, we won't tell him, right?" Andy looked up at her, blinking his big green eyes. Moments like these, Andy's birth, Zoe's birth, her wedding with Kelly, she could really feel her older brother there, smiling down at them. She knew that he was always with him and that warmed her heart. Even if they couldn't share it in person, she wouldn't want him to miss any of this.

Once their shift was over, everyone came by the hospital to see Shay, Erin, and Andy. Lacey teased Kelly that she got to hold the baby first, which he joked back that he figured she would. While he loved Zoe to death, he was excited to have a boy around, ready to teach him like he had helped with Andy's kids. Thinking of Andy and holding his namesake made Kelly miss his best friend, but he smiled.

He felt Andy with him too, though they were different times than when Lacey felt Andy. He felt Andy with him on the job, felt him when that building exploded with all of them in it two years ago, felt him when life seemed to be spinning out of control; Andy was his guardian angel.


Two weeks later everyone was gathered at Kelly and Lacey's, with Kelly going to pick up Katie from the airport. They were there for a surprise welcome back party for her. Their whole family was there; Erin, Shay, Andy, Kelly, Lacey, Zoe, Dawson, Casey, Heather and the Darden boys. Jack and Sean were both playing with Zoe while Dawson was holding Andy. She and Casey didn't want to say anything with Shay just having her baby and Katie coming home, they didn't want to take attention away from that, but they were going to be expecting a child of their own in nine months.

"Thanks for letting me stay here until I can move in this weekend," Katie was saying as Kelly opened the door to the apartment.

"SURPRISE!" everyone cheered as Katie and Kelly entered.

"Oh my God!" Katie laughed, hand over her heart as they made her jump. "You guys!" Her eyes were tearing up now. "You didn't have to do this!"

"Of course we did," Kelly smiled, putting his arm around his younger sister, so happy she was home.

The party started officially when the guest of honor got there, the kids still playing while Andy finally got handed back to his parents. They all sat around the living room together, talking about what was going on in their lives now. Where Heather was working and what restaurant Katie was going to be the new chef at. They talked all about how beautiful Andy was and teased Dawson about how it was her turn next, with no one knowing yet that it really would be; they also asked Lacey when her next baby was coming along.

"Mommy baby?" Zoe asked, climbing in her lap. Lacey was sitting on the floor in front of the couch, leaning back against Kelly's leg.

"Not for awhile sweetie," Lacey laughed.

"Hey, Lace," Katie said, taking a seat next to her, lowering her voice while the others continued to talk. "Do you, um..." She shook her head. "Do you know if Otis is seeing anyone?" She paused. "Am I being weird? It's been two years."

"Nope," Lacey grinned. "To both questions. And, we invited him tonight, but he was afraid of coming off strong or whatever. Being weird," she teased Katie, making a face to which Katie smiled back. "I am so happy you're home."

"Me too," Kelly agreed with his wife, messing up his sister's hair a little and making her laugh, pushing his hand away.

"I'm glad the group's all back together," Casey added in agreement. They hadn't all been together in so long, and if they were all visiting together it was only for a short amount of time. Things felt good now, permanent.

"Our random family," Shay grinned, glancing over at Erin who was holding Andy.

Everything was the way it should be.

thanks for reading! :) i really hope you liked it and i'm so sorry it took me so long to get it posted! let me know what you thought about the ending! :) and thank you so much for all your support in throughout this story! :)