Sitting in the living room at Llanfair, amongst her family, Natalie looks at John as the final scene of "Fraternity Row" airs. John nods with a smile, and Natalie waits until everyone finishes sharing memories of the soap opera and how much they will miss its quirky storylines. Roxy gets up with plans to drag Nigel off to Rodi's to drown their sorrows in some well-preserved Irish liquor.
"John and I have an announcement to make," Natalie's voice stops everyone in their tracks. "We are leaving Llanview." Roxy thinks they've had enough bad news for one day and continues ranting about the network taking off her beloved soap opera. Viki sits calmly, already knowing what Natalie's about to say, as everyone waits for answers. John joins Natalie, holding Liam, and stuns Bo by explaining, "I'm leaving the Llanview PD. It's time to make a change and give Natalie and our son the best of me."
Natalie reminisces about Asa's ranch in Texas, the place where she and Jared fell in love and how she thought that moment in time was going to be the beginning of a lifetime of happiness. When Jared died, she thought her world would never be the same, until she and John overcame their differences and had Liam. They've been given a second chance and want nothing more than to live a life without further heartache. John admits he's allowed the demons of his past to dictate his life up until this point. He's hid behind his badge for far too long and now owes it to Natalie and their family to start a new life, in a new place, by leaving his old one behind.
"Pa would be pleased with your decision to take over his ranch," Clint says, approaching his daughter, the man she loves and his grandson. "But you will always have a home in Llanview." One by one, everyone says their goodbyes. Viki wishes them much love and happiness always. Bo promises John a place at the Llanview PD should he decide horses and cattle aren't his thing. Jessica holds her sister close, thankful that they were able to survive their past. Roxy fumbles with Viki's laptop until she gets Rex, who's in England with Gigi and Shane, on Skype, hoping he'll talk some sense into his sister. Rex assures Roxy that there are bars in Texas. She can visit John and Natalie anytime. Roxy rushes to Natty in tears then warns Johnny to take care of her baby. Nigel appears in the doorway, letting everyone know the car is packed and waiting. Repeated hugs and goodbyes are shared then John and Natalie take Liam and set out into the night.
They take the long way out of town, along the Llantano River, up Llantano Mountain and reflect on their Llanview memories, even the ones that almost destroyed them. John looks in the rearview mirror at a sleeping Liam then takes Natalie's hand. Finally overcoming all of their hardships, no words are needed. They lock gazes and both are fully aware of the love between them. Natalie notices the sign alerting drivers of the distance before they reach the town of Port Charles and asks, "Are you sure you don't want to stop and get some sleep then start out fresh in the morning?" She knows how hard it was for John to leave his job and knew he insisted on leaving tonight just to make a clean break. "If we stop off in that mob-filled town I'll never leave law enforcement behind." His words are enough for Natalie to sit back and anticipate their new life in Texas…
As the day goes on, Natalie receives many more surprises in the form of her family and friends. Reverend Andrew Carpenter arrives for the abrupt nuptials, as Viki finishes helping Natalie get dressed in the gown John had delivered, a Forrester original. Night falls, and John and Natalie are pronounced husband and wife. Her dreams have come true, yet again, underneath the Texas stars.
Though viewers never got to see John and Natalie ride off into the sunset, would you have liked to have seen this scenario play out before the soap went dark forever on ABC? Share your comments below and feel free to leave Soaps.com your own ending wishes for the couple.
If you missed our last story check out Soaps.com's One Life to Live Fan Fiction A Face From Jessica's Past.
Join us on Twitter @soapoperafan, and Facebook. Come tweet and Facebook with us about "One Life To Live," all the other soap operas, "Dallas," "Glee," "Grey’s Anatomy," "Scruples," "Vampire Diaries," and "Venice The Series."
- Amy Mistretta