A/N: Bringing this story to a close with this chapter...perhaps a sequel in the future.

After All

Chapter 25

After all the stops and starts…we keep coming back to these two hearts. Two angels who've been rescued from the fall. After all that we've been through…it all comes down to me and you…I guess it's meant to be forever you and me.

Gil Grissom could count on two fingers when he had been truly terrified—until today—for the past three weeks, he corrected. He had to fight his gag reflex; even after all those years in an autopsy room, this was different. A wave of dizziness caused him to drop his head, mouthing "Don't—don't…" as his forehead touched Sara's hand.

He did not faint; nor was he actually sick. But a cool hand on his neck brought his head up.

"You okay?" Bending near his ear, her voice a whisper, a nurse had placed a gloved hand on his neck. "We're almost ready—she's fine."

Sara was fine—as fine as one can be minutes before having one's abdomen split open for a C-section. He knew why people prayed in the face of scientific expertise; he'd been praying for hours.

He played off his dizziness by kissing her hand through the mask covering his mouth and nose.

Sara's eyes had been on the monitors near her; now, she turned her eyes to meet his. Her excitement was revealed in her eyes—luminous pools of dark chocolate sparkled with gold around her pupils.

"We're almost there." Her words were smothered by the breathing mask but he thought that was what she said.

He agreed with a nod, thinking how organized she was with everything. Even delivery had been scheduled. The past month had been one of planning, putting every aspect of their lives in order, coordinating with a new nanny—the daughter of their neighbor's housekeeper, and—finally agreeing to Jim's offer to "help out".

Jim Brass had arrived two weeks ago and had, not surprising, taken charge of Cate. Within hours, he was her favorite adult, accomplished by playing on the floor most of the child's waking hours. It was as if she had forgotten her mother and father as long as she could crawl over Jim.

By then, Sara had been on primary bed rest; up to eat, to shower, and then back to bed waiting for the magic of thirty-seven weeks. She had almost made it.

A flurry of activity caused him to look up. Eyes appeared above Sara's tented abdomen.

"We're ready!"

Making himself breathe, his arm went around Sara's head; she smiled and winked but said nothing and three minutes later, the doctor made a soft sound of delight.

"Number one!"

A moment later, a pale, wet infant was gently placed across Sara's chest and immediately began to nuzzle against her skin.

Someone said, "That's a good sign."

He took a breath; the baby appeared perfectly formed. Of course, he knew all the tests had returned normal results, but, seeing the infant lifted a weight from his shoulders. His finger touched the baby's tiny foot.

There was a sound from Sara, garbled so he removed the mask from her face. She whispered, "He's perfect, Gil." Seeing tears in her eyes caused his own vision to blur; he seemed to have lost the ability to speak.

And then a second baby appeared; one nurse removed the first baby and placed the second one on Sara's chest. Grissom's hand slid along the infant's leg to his spine and to the impeccably round head.

For several minutes, he was at a loss for words. The second one was as perfect as the first with a cap of dark curling hair covering his head. Multiple swipes of his eyes did nothing to clear his vision as voices played around the room.

Weights, lengths, scores, oxygen levels, heel pricks—he paid no attention to anyone or anything—he was too engrossed in the overload of emotions coming into his brain. Two babies, two boys; perfectly formed, ten toes, ten fingers, hands, legs, feet, all flawless.

In moments, he felt a transformation, a change in his reality that he could never explain. With Cate, they'd had weeks to develop an attachment but today, it was literally instantly. A part of him had become these two beautiful, squirming, breathing humans. Sara was beaming even as tears rolled from her eyes.

Finally, finding his voice, he choked out, "Perfection—beautiful." Somehow, one of the babies had been placed in his arms. His hand caressed the baby's damp round head as tears rolled down his face.

Jim Brass stayed another two weeks. He cooked, he cleaned, he did laundry, and he smiled for hours when the new parent's named one of their sons after him.

He could not stop his laughter when Sara announced James' brother would be named Gregory.

"You've covered all of us, haven't you?"

Sara tilted her chin, giving him a smug look as she said, "James Nicholas and Gregory Gilbert will be a combination of all the decency and exceptional goodness of four good men!"

When the names were written on the certificates of birth, he beamed, knowing two others who would be delighted and surprised.

Both babies were home in a week's time, breathing, sucking, sleeping, and gaining weight. Three pairs of arms meant all three children had someone available to hold, rock, feed, and change as needed.

More than once, as they sat together, each one holding a baby, one of them made a quiet laugh. Another joined in and within minutes, all three would be laughing at the turns in life.

When he left to return to Vegas, Sara cried even as he promised to return.

Three months later, Nick Stokes and Gil Grissom sat on a shaded deck and waved as Sara adjusted her sunglasses, giving them a grin and a thumbs up sign. Turning her back on the two men, she grabbed the handle and pushed a long stroller, built for three, in front of her.

"What a woman," Nick said as Sara walked away. "I'm amazed—stunned." He lifted his glass in Grissom's direction, adding, "You look pretty darn good for a man old enough to be their grandfather!"

With a chuckle, Grissom acknowledged the truth, saying, "We are good. Every day is a new adventure. Sara is—Sara is amazing. Jim came up a few weeks ago—brought that stroller to us—I think he may retire again so he can visit more often!" Another chuckle. "He said she was always mothering half the people in the lab so she had plenty of experience!"

Nick laughed and sipped his drink. "Jim is right! Sara played mother hen to those young guys for years! And you were papa bear. Which—brings up Greg! I talk to Greg on a regular basis—he is doing good—he grew up under your guidance—knows what's right—and—and he's settling into being Ecklie's son-in-law."

Both men laughed, shaking heads at the way life worked out.

Several long moments passed as the two men sipped drinks, both watching as Sara crossed the canal bridge; the bright red stroller rolling in advance of her long stride.

"She looks good."

In a low voice, Grissom said, "I've heard women complain about how a baby changes their body—not so with Sara. She's even better—and I don't mean just looks—that's happened too, but she is organized. She is patient—never complains. Never seems to run out of energy."

Nick grinned as he listened to a changed man—changed from the one who had been his supervisor for years. He said, "For a while there, I thought you two would never get together—and now look at this!" His hand waved in a circle. "Miss Betty is smiling down on all of this."

Grissom's face grew solemn as he said, "I wish this had happened years ago—it should have but we can't change time. We are grateful for every day—every hour."

"What's happening with your boat?"

A smile returned. "Leased it for a year to a guy who's in the organization. We've got to get these babies grown—or at least to twenty pounds—before we can safely take them out. Now, I'm doing paperwork—funneling information to the right law enforcement agency." His mouth quirked in a grin. "Much like all the paperwork of a lab supervisor!"

Smiling, Nick reached for his glass. "I'd need more than a year off after what happened out there."

With a shrug, Grissom said, "Most days it is quiet, calm, beautiful—but that day was one hell-of-a-day!"

The two men talked for nearly an hour; an easy conversation that moved from topic to topic until Sara returned.

When they saw her cross the bridge, Grissom stood, saying, "Diaper duty—come on, you can help—your namesake will have a poopy one."

After all that we've been through…It all comes down to me and you. I guess it's meant to be…forever you and me…After all.

A/N: Thank you for reading. Thank you to those who send your comments (as a guest or with your ff name!) Perhaps a sequel in the future. Long live GSR!