I really can't believe that I'm finishing up this story right now. 24 chapters! Wow, I can't believe it! Yay! Thank you so much for all of your support! It's mean the world to me.

Special thanks to the following people:

Melanie, I know you haven't even read this story at all, but hopefully you will someday. But I just wanted to say thank you everything you've done for me this semester. One day we'll take those trips to Vegas, Colorado, Gatlinburg, and Florida. One day… lol

Snickers over at yahoo, you guys are the best! If I never found our lovely group, I never would have started writing N/S fics. I think it was definitely one of the best things I've done in a while. Thank you for all of the continued support.

Also thanks to the following reviewers:

bloodredcherry, J gard, pdhtgal, Angelic Little Devil, ljae, MissyJane, PassionatePapist, Franny2, Sara Sidle Stokes, elise, Nat, nadia,  Emily Elizabeth, Pam, cRaZyPiXiE, candaceFABULOUS, CSI-Hornet, diamondlilymay, oOoOo, A Bloom, jd burns, Jezebel!, shadowcat, adpi24, spikes-storm, krisnina77,  oceanwave1, PeTiTeCaT, countryfreak, Nepeace, EmmyMik, LilRiver, csi-freak03, theparanoidone, Wolfey, katada, Dimitri, Stokes-CSI3, Martina McBride, KCC, DarthKel, ICABOT, Jane, Prillygirl, Jess, gilcathlover, Laurie Smith, and Pretty Perfect.

You all rock!!! :)

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364 Days Later

  ~~$~@~$~~

Nick climbed into bed next to his extremely pregnant, and sleeping, wife. Sara was laying on her back, with a pillow propped under her feet, one under her head, and yet another clutched to her chest. The baby was due any day now. Actually, she was due the day before, and Sara had been pretty upset that she hadn't even had the slightest contraction yet. They weren't certain, but due to ultrasound pictures, they were pretty sure their first child was going to be a girl.

At first Sara was afraid that she would have problems conceiving because of her endometriosis, but Nick was completely supportive, and he knew, no matter what, they were going to have a family. He'd even begun setting aside money every so often just in case Sara didn't get pregnant. That way they could adopt a child. He'd started saving up a month before they got married, and when he finally told Sara about it, a few months after their wedding, he'd already had close to five hundred dollars saved up.

At first Sara was upset with him because he hadn't told her about it. But the anger only lasted a few minutes. When Nick told her how much he had saved up, she started to cry. She couldn't believe that he'd do something like that as a surprise for her. And she loved him even more for it.

But it was then that Sara told Nick she might be pregnant.

Then it was Nick's turn to cry.

They held each other, and cried together for nearly an hour after they heard the news. And once all the tears were gone, they made love for what seemed like the first time. Even though they had made love several times already, this time was different. They made love slower than usual, and it was as if it would be the last time they'd ever be together. They took the time to memorize each others bodies, and afterwards, fell asleep together, wrapped up in each other.

Sara had been on maternity leave for over three months now. Grissom wasn't happy at first, but when she'd threatened to quit, and go somewhere else, he'd reluctantly allowed her to leave. Nick wasn't sure if Grissom knew that Sara was in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy. He wasn't sure if he understood them at all.

Then again, it could have just been the fact that Grissom wouldn't get to see one of his best friends every day anymore.

For the first few weeks, Grissom would call Sara every so often to ask her opinion on certain cases, but he was always careful to never get her involved in the battered women cases.

Nick wasn't happy that Grissom was involving Sara in these cases, because he knew it probably stressed her out, but soon he realized that this was Sara's life, and if she didn't have something to do, she'd go crazy anyways.

Nick, being the over-protective husband that he is, made a deal with her; she could help Grissom with one case a week as long as she took care of herself and didn't get too involved.

A month later, Sara had stopped accepting Grissom's calls for help, but she didn't stop taking care of herself. In fact, she had started to let Nick take care of her for the first time. He'd draw her baths, make her dinner every night, and one time he even gave her a pedicure and manicure.

And now here they were on their one-year anniversary, wanting more than anything in the world for their daughter to join them in the world.

Nick leaned over and kissed Sara lightly on the cheek, and whispering, "Happy Anniversary, sweetheart. I love you."

Sara woke with a start and gasped.

"I'm sorry, Sara. I didn't mean to wake you up," Nick apologized quickly.

"No. Nick. Baby. Now."

"What?" Nick asked in disbelief.

"I think it's time," Sara whispered, looking to her husband for help.

"Are you sure?" Nick asked going over to the closet to grab the 'Baby Bag'. "I mean you haven't even had any contractions yet."

"Well, Nick, I just did. And I don't know how to explain it, but I think its time."

When Nick turned around, he found Sara sitting on the edge of the bed, pulling on her gym shoes. He couldn't help but laugh.

"What?" She asked.

"Nothing."

Sara stood up and glared at him. "Nick, you don't laugh at pregnant women. It's against the rules."

"I'm sorry, honey, but you're wearing a sheet and gym shoes. And as I much as I love the outfit you've chosen, I just think you might want to put some clothes on."

Sara looked at herself in the full-length mirror and laughed. "I guess you're right, but can we hurry please. I think my water just broke."

"Already?" Nick exclaimed.

"Yes, Nick. I'm pretty sure I didn't pee in my sheet."

Again, Nick had a hard time trying not to laugh at his wife. He simply walked over to her, placed his hands on her shoulders, leaned in, and kissed her softly, before whispering, "We need to go, honey."

I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
this world is a beautiful place

"Come on Sara, you have to push!"  Dr. Jeremy Fox said, trying to encourage his patient.

"Too. Tired." Sara leaned back on the bed, and tried to catch her breath. "I can't do it anymore, Nick," she said to her husband who was standing beside her bed, holding her hand tightly.

"Come on, baby, I know you can do this," Nick whispered kissing her hand. "And besides, if you give birth within the next three hours, she'll be born on our anniversary."

Sara smiled, but before she could say anything, another contraction hit her full force. "You know, for a second there, I was really hoping I wouldn't have to feel this!" She screamed.

"Come on, Sara, just a little further! I see her head!" Dr. Fox exclaimed.

Nick felt Sara grip his hand even tighter than before, as she gave their little girl one more push.

"Well, well, well. Congratulations Sara and Nick. You now have a beautiful baby girl!" Dr. Fox exclaimed. "Daddy, would you like to cut the umbilical cord?"

"I'd love to." Nick let go of Sara's hand and took the scissors from one of the nurses. He carefully cut the cord. When he was finished, he joined Sara again, and took her hand in his.

Dr. Fox cleaned off the little girl, and wrapped her in a pale pink blanket. "May I present to you Baby Girl Stokes," he said handing the tiny bundle to a now teary-eyed Sara.

"Hey baby," Sara greeted her daughter with a wide grin. "Hey sweetheart. I'm you're mommy." Sara stared into her daughter's light brown eyes, and felt a love she'd never felt before. It was different than the love she felt for Nick, different than the love she felt for her work. It was a love that was more powerful than anything. "And this is your daddy," Sara whispered through her tears, looking up at Nick, who also had tears in his eyes.

"Hey there," Nick spoke softly, reaching for his little girl's fingers. She quickly grabbed onto his thumb, and held it tightly, causing Nick to laugh. "That's quite a grip you got there, kiddo."

Dr. Fox cleared his throat. He hated breaking up the family moments like these, but both Sara and her child needed to be checked out to make sure they were both healthy. "I need to take you to your private room, and have you cleaned up Sara. And this little girl needs to be weighed, and measured, and all that fun stuff. But I can promise she'll be back as soon as possible. Nick, you can wait in the waiting room until we're finished with your daughter," he explained.

"Okay," they replied in unison.

"Oh, one more thing," Dr. Fox continued as he looked through the chart. "Do you have a name for this little beauty?"

Nick and Sara looked at each and smiled. "Yes, we do," Nick answered. "Mackenzie. Mackenzie Nicole Stokes."

Dr. Fox smiled at the young family. "It's a beautiful name for a beautiful girl."

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

A few hours later, Sara and Nick were lying, together, in her private hospital room. They were cuddled up together underneath the small blanket, both resting peacefully, smiles permanently glued to their faces.

One of Sara's nurses entered the room quietly, and immediately felt her heart warm at the site of the young couple holding each other before her. She wheeled the portable crib that held their sleeping newborn into the room, and over to the side of the bed. "I never thought I'd meet the perfect family," she said to herself.

As soon as she situated the crib, the nurse stood over the bed, and quietly spoke Sara's name. "Mrs. Stokes? Sara, ma'am, I need to take your vitals."

"Hmm?" Sara mumbled. Her eyes fluttered open "Oh, hi, Betsy."

"I just need to take your vitals, Sara, and then I'll be out of your hair. I also brought this little girl with me," she moved out of the way so Sara could see her daughter.

"Thank you," Sara smiled.

"Not a problem."

Betsy quickly drew Sara's blood, and checked her blood pressure. "If you need anything, just press the call button, okay?"

"Thank you, Betsy," Sara whispered.

"Good bye, Sara."

Across a crowded room,
I know you know what I'm thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we're lying in the quiet and
no words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

Sara carefully untangled herself from Nick's embrace, and lifted her daughter out of the crib. "Hey Mackenzie," Sara whispered.

"Sara" Nick spoke softly.

"Hey" she replied.

"Happy Anniversary," Nick smiled.

"Happy Anniversary to you, too, Nick," Sara replied, leaning over and kissing her husband.

The sound of their daughter's soft cries broke them apart. "I guess she's hungry," Sara stated.

"Maybe. Or maybe she's just jealous. Are you jealous, baby?" Nick asked his daughter. He leaned over and kissed her softly on the forehead. "Better?" he asked.

Sara laughed at the exchange between father and daughter. She knew from this point on that they would be happy forever. She had the most perfect husband, and the most perfect daughter, and nothing in the world would make her happier.

"I love you, Nick," Sara whispered through her tears.

"I love you, too, honey. Both of you."

Sara leaned back into Nick's embrace, holding her daughter carefully.

She knew at that moment that she was truly blessed.

When I, when I'm singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know

~~$~@~$~~

 THE END

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Wow, I really can't believe it's over. But thank you all so much for your support. I really couldn't have done it without you.

This song was 'Blessed' by Martina McBride, which was a request from Martina McBride herself. lol You ask and you shall receive!

Please review and let me know what you think!

Thanks again for everything, guys and girls!