Title: Ripples in the Water

Author: Evidence

Chapter: 1

Rating: PG-13

Author's Notes: This takes place a few years in the future.  I wondered what would happen if Grissom and Sara's child was not a genius like them.  All medical, educational information is factual; during the day I teach.  We start off at the end of the story (almost) and then take a time machine to a few years before.  I think it will make sense as you read it.  Don't fear the story will not depressing remember I'm a sucker for romance.  Hope you enjoy.

He folded his pants and placed them in the brown leather bag.  A wedding present.  From Nick.  His and hers luggage.  He set his shirts, underwear, socks on top of the pants.  It wouldn't close.  He had too much to bring with him.  He took out a quarter of the bag's continents; he would get these later.  Grissom saw the "Best Dad in the World" baseball cap and debated whether he should bring it or not. He didn't feel like the best dad but he loved that cap.  He shoved it into his remaining open space and grabbed his gray jacket off the hook in his closet.  Correction it wasn't his closet anymore.  Lastly he removed the gold band that encircled his ring finger and placed it on the dresser.  He made sure to avoid the mirror above the dresser; he didn't want to look at himself now.

Slowly he walked down the hall.  He could hear her banging the dishes in the kitchen in some frenzy to have everything clean, to have some control. 

"I'm all set," he said when he finally completed his journey to the kitchen. 

She didn't turn around.  She shoved a plate into the dish rack and missed- it fell to the ground.  Shattered china lay strewn around, a wedding present from Catherine.  Instinctively he rushed to help picked it up.

"Don't bother."  Sara spat the words at him, her eyes drained of color.

"Mommy?"  The voice brought both of their attention to the small figure in the doorway.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine, sweetie.  I just dropped a plate."  She left the remains and moved to kneel beside him.  "Don't worry, everything's fine."  She brushed aside his thick hair.

Grissom doubled back to his bag and retrieved it from where he left it.  He looked down at the blue eyes staring back at him full of fear, anxiety, confusion.  "Dylan, we've talked about this, remember?  Daddy needs to go away for a while but I'm going to call you everyday and come see you whenever I can."

The boy's lip quivered. 

Sara continued to stroke his hair.

Grissom tried his best to keep the tears from falling.  "I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

The boy shook his head but didn't seem to fully understand.

"Daddy loves you."  He put his hand to his son's cheek and started out the door.  He could hear Dylan's tears as he walked down the path which once led to his house.  He got into his Tahoe and slammed the door shut.  How did it come to this when it all started it so good?

A few years earlier…

They had walked hand in hand in the lab that day.  Catherine was the first to take an interest.  "Hey, guys…what's up?"  She looked curiously at the entwined hands and the grinning faces.

"Cath, can you ask everyone to meet us in my office?" 

"Sure, Grissom."  She watched them leave, walking and laughing.  Although they had begun dating a few months before, neither one of them based any romanticism at work.  The sheriff and Ecklie were blind to the blossoming relationship, an intentional act on their part.  Now Catherine wondered what was the reason they had decided to "out" themselves.

All the players soon ensembled in the small office.  Grissom and Sara both stood looking like sitting still for a minute would take great effort.

"Okay, my curiosity is peaked.  Don't keep us waiting."  Nick Stokes grinned back at them.

Grissom held up Sara's hand.  "Do you notice something?"

Greg was the first to see the light dancing on the diamond.  "Oh, man!  You guys are engaged?"

Grissom shook his head and Sara spoke, "Warrick, I think you lost that bet."

"Damn right I did."  Warrick laughed.

"What bet?"  Grissom scrunched his eyes at his intended bride.

"Warrick bet me that it would take five years for you to ask me to marry you.  He lost." 

"Thank God, it took them long enough to get together."  Greg shook his head in an exasperated expression.  Laughter filled the office. 

"Congrats you guys," Catherine reached over to hug them both.  "I'm so happy for you."

They were happy too.  Elated actually.  Time passed so quickly.  Soon Sara had found a nice place to get hitched and the date was set.  Sheriff Mobley had declined their invitation to the wedding but had amazing supported their decision to be together.  Ecklie was none too pleased and made disparaging comments in print on the subject.  He was reprimanded.

Sara looked in the long mirror admiring the white gown and how it fit her.  "Hey," she saw Catherine through the reflection.

"A few minutes from now I'll be Mrs. Grissom.  I can't believe it is actually happening."

Catherine hugged her.  "You two deserve to be happy."

There was a knock on the door.  Sara's dad popped his head in.  "Honey, they are ready for you."

Breathing deeply she started off and took her father's arm.

Out in the wedding hall, Grissom nervously moved from one foot to another. 

"Will you stop that!"  Jim Brass, his best man, whispered in his ear.  "You're making me nervous."

"I'm marring Sara, Jim.  I can't believe it."

The organ began playing the wedding march.  All eyes and attention went to the back of the room.

Grissom watched in awe as the wedding party proceeded down the white fabric draped on the wooden floor.  Sara had asked Lindsay to be the flower girl.  Lindsay threw bits of red roses into the air.  They landed on the white fabric and gave the appearance of blood.  Somehow Grissom found this comforting. 

Sara chose two old friends of hers as bridesmaids.  Catherine was honored to be the maid of honor even though Greg kept insisting the title only applied to single, never married, girls.  Grissom was pleased with the color of the bridesmaid dresses: a light purple.  He had feared that Sara would find a tie-dye pattern in some seventy's shop. 

Soon Grissom saw her on her father's arm.  She was a vision.  Sara hadn't wanted anything too fancy or puffy.  She picked the perfect dress for her: elegant, simple, tasteful, beautiful.

Sara's heart skipped a beat as she walked down the isle.  She was marrying Grissom, the man she loved, that she had loved for many years.  He looked so handsome in the black tux.  A purple tulip peaked out from his lapel.  It had finally happened.  They were together for now until death. 

The Reverend went through the procedures of the marriage ceremony.  Rings were exchanged, "I dos" were said, and lastly came "You may now kiss the bride."  Their lips met and a chorus of applause echoed in the hall, which they had used for the ceremony.  They walked out hand in hand.

Sara smiled as she passed Grissom's groomsmen, Nick and Warrick; they both had tears in their eyes.  The limo was waiting for them to take them to the reception.  After being pelted with birdseed they waved and with a "Meet you guys there" from Sara they were off. 

Grissom put his arm around his wife.  It felt almost surreal like it couldn't be true.  He honesty never thought he would get married and then to marry Sara…it was like having all your dreams become reality. 

"Grissom, thank you for today."  She put her head on his shoulder.

"Don't thank me, I should be thanking you.  You made me live again Sara."  He kissed her forehead.

"Would you make me one promise?"

"Sure."

"Promise me that you'll never shut me out of your life again."  Her voice grew serious and she locked on to his eyes.

"I promise Sara."  He meant it to but promises were easier to say than to actually keep.

A few months later…

He paced back and forth in front of the bathroom.  What was taking her so long? 

She opened up and came out.  "We need to wait just two minutes and we'll know."  She put her arms around him.  "Oh, Griss I hope it's true."

"If it isn't this time it will happen.  We will have a baby Sara."  He kissed her cheek.

"I know I'm impatient, we've only started trying but…I want your child, I'm sure of it."

He never admitted to her how unsure he was.  How it kept him up at night.  How he worried that the baby would have hearing problems.  How he felt that he couldn't be a good father, that it wasn't in him.  He never told her that he didn't want any children.  He wanted her to be happy and if having a child accomplished that, it was okay with him.

Sara's watch beeped reminding her of the life alternative answer behind the door.  "It's time."  She gulped nervously and Grissom wished for her sake that she was pregnant.

Grabbing Grissom's hand she pulled him into the bathroom.  With slight trembling she picked up the stick.  Grissom didn't see if it had changed color or not but he knew the answer when she turned around a huge smile on her face.

"We're going to have a baby!"  The tears mingled with her happy squeal and Grissom did his best to show how happy he was.  He wasn't happy though, he was scared.

Children, he knew, where a big commitment.  The first three years of their lives shaped who they would be in the future.  Their personality was already formed by age five.  Their vocabulary reflected the environment and sadly, social-economic status they lived in.  A child was not an experiment or a lab, it was something that needed you consistently and depended on you in its early years for everything.  Grissom already realized that he would be the "older" dad on class night.  The part of a couple people whispered about because she was so much younger than him.  The child would have so many disadvantages: workaholic parents, a morbid nature given his parents' jobs, genes that beget hearing loss and social interactions hardships.  He couldn't fathom why Sara had now wanted a child so desperately when earlier she hadn't.

The news quickly spread through the lab with Sara's assistance.  Catherine was overjoyed and eager to pass on advice and Lindsay's old toys.  Nick and Warrick already established themselves as uncles.  Greg danced around the DNA lab singing songs that had "baby" in them.  It was Brass who saw through Grissom's façade.

"For an expectant father, you don't look too happy."  He motioned to Grissom's office and they walked to it together.

"I'm very happy, Jim, just a little shell shocked still."

"Well, Sara's on cloud nine and you look like gloomy Grissom.  He hasn't made an appearance since Sara and you got together.  Finally." He smiled at the last word.

"Like I said Jim, it's a lot to take in."

"Whoa, I thought you guys planned this?"

"We did."

"Then how the hell can it be a lot to take in!  You must have already discussed what would change and how you felt."  Jim paused letting what he was saying sink in.  "That's it isn't it.  Sara told you how she felt but you didn't tell her.  You just went along with it to make her happy."

Grissom was caught off guard.  He hated when people read his motivations and feelings.  Especially when they were on target.  "I'm happy."

"You better be, you're bringing a new life into the world and that's one hell of a responsibility."

"I know that!"  Grissom slammed his hand on his desk.  "I need to get back to Sara, this conversation is over."

Grissom was nearly out of the door when Brass spoke.  "Are you wondering if you'll turn out like your pop?"

Grissom's head shot around.  How…

"You've never mentioned him.  I do know your parents were divorced but you never said if he was around.  He wasn't a good father was he?  You're not him Gil, you're your own man."

Grissom slammed the door behind him.  Jim Brass was beginning to be a good CSI for a detective; he picked up too many clues along the way. 

Nick met him out in the hall.  "There you are!  We've got soda in the breakroom and we're planning a toast.  Come on."

Sara, Greg and Catherine sat on the breakroom sofa.  Warrick had a chair.  Grissom stood next to Sara and accepted a glass of ginger ale from Nick.

"Okay, everyone hold your glasses up!"  Nick smiled brightly.  "A toast to Grissom, Sara, their love and their baby born out of that love."

"Hear, hear." Brass said eyeing Grissom as he entered the breakroom.

Glasses clinked and ginger ale was slurped. 

"Nice toast, Nicky."  Sara hugged him.

"Ah, your welcome.  I'm so happy for you two.  You know," he started looking from Grissom to Sara and back again, "this kid is going to be a genius with your genes."

Laughter abounded.  "He'll have our jobs,"  Warrick said.

Catherine waved her hand.  "She'll be a graduate of Harvard, or Yale."

"Probably won't date anyone until he or she is 20."  Greg said with a mischievous grin. 

Grissom avoided Brass's stare and looked at a beaming Sara.  Maybe everything would be okay.  Maybe.

The pregnancy went beautifully but then…

"Mrs. Grissom, don't push!"  The doctor proceeded to hold his hand on her leg as if that would stop her contractions.

"We are losing the baby's pulse."

"Mom's pulse is starting to get weak."

"We've got blood!'

Grissom could feel the shivers moving up and down his spine as he held Sara's hand.  The baby was dying, something had gone so very wrong and Sara wasn't in much better shape.

"Sir, you need to leave, now."  The young med student grabbed him by the shoulder and yanked him away from his wife and baby.

"Gil…" Sara was calling to him.  She hardly ever called him "Gil" unless she was pissed at him or afraid of something.  He knew that fear was gripping her right now.  She had everything she wanted and in one second it could all be taken away. 

Grissom had never thought he would love this baby as much as she did.  It wasn't even born yet and his heart ached that he would never get the chance to hold the little tyke.  Over the months as he watched Sara's belly grow and felt the baby kick he had grown attached.  He had opened himself up to another person and now would face what he feared most: losing something.  Grissom had always worried that if someone really knew him he would lose a part of himself.  Now though he might lose someone, a precious child.

They all ready knew it was a boy, the ultrasound discovered that.  After hit and misses in a baby name book they spent one night listening to music (Sara) and reading poetry (Grissom).  Both of them came to the same conclusion about the name.  They wanted their son to be called Dylan.  Sara had been rocking to Bob Dylan while Grissom caught up on his Dylan Thomas reading.  More proof that the two of them were perfect for each other.  Two halves that equal a whole.

Grissom walked into the waiting room and saw the small party.  Greg was already handing out chocolate cigars and flirting with nurses.  Warrick and Nick were playing checkers, Nick losing badly.  Catherine saw him first and read the expression on his face.  She felt her stomach twist.

"Grissom!"  Greg turned now and saw him.  "So Dad how's the boy?"

Grissom rubbed a sweaty palm over his face.  "Not good.  Something…complications arose.  The baby is dying and Sara's not doing well."

The party grew mournful.  Catherine patted his arm.  "Have faith."

"I lost that long ago," he replied.

Nick sat and stared at the wall.  Greg and Warrick tried to give words of confront.

Time slipped past and finally Sara's doctor emerged.

"Mr. Grissom."

"Yes," he said as his heart caught in his throat.

"Your wife is doing very well."

"Thank God,' Nick muttered not realizing everyone could hear him.

The doctor shifted his eyes to the floor.  "Why don't we go to my office to talk about your son."

Grissom couldn't move if he wanted to, he was immobilized with fear.  "Just tell me."

Warrick put his hand on Grissom's shoulder and Catherine stood up so she was closer to him.

"The baby's right arm caught on the pelvic bone.  We had to dislodge it.  As we were the baby's heart rate decreased and oxygen stopped going to his brain.  He lost oxygen for a few minutes.  He nearly died but he is stable now."

Oxygen to the brain, dear God.  "Does Sara know?"

"Yes."

"What does that mean?"  Greg asked.

Grissom turned and answered him.  "Dylan is brain damaged Greg.  He will have problems for the rest of his life.  It could be minor or severe.  The doctors won't know until he starts getting older.

"I'm sorry Mr. Grissom.  You may see your wife or your son whenever you are ready."  The doctor left.

Grissom went first to see the boy.  He was long and strong looking.  Most likely he would be a tall kid.  A mop of brown wavy hair encased his head and bright blue eyes seemed to be looking right at Grissom.  Grissom felt his heart skip a beat.  His son, his child.  It was quite a miracle.

He saw Sara next.  She was sitting up in her hospital room even after the ordeal she had been through.  "Griss, have you seen Dylan?"

"Yes, he's beautiful."  Grissom pulled a chair beside her bed.

"They won't let me see him."  She grabbed on to her husband hands.  "They told me he's 23 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces.  What color is his hair?"

"Brown.  It is wavy, too."

"Wow."  She nestled her head against his shoulder.  "We have a baby."

"I know, amazing isn't it?"  Grissom whispered in her ear.

"He's perfect, absolutely perfect."

Grissom pulled slightly away.  "Sara, he's not perfect.  This kid is going to have a lot of problems.  Life will never be easy for him.  We have a long, hard road ahead of us."

Sara looked into his eyes and smiled.  "He'll be fine, Griss.  Don't worry about Dylan, I know everything will work out."  She put her head back on his shoulder.

Grissom didn't agree.  He was now concerned that Sara had built up an unrealistic view of Dylan and his problems.  What would this do to their marriage?

The problems were just beginning…

To be continued…(The back story is concluded now we will deal with Dylan and their marriage.)