Author: Darlaranger

Story Title: Love Changes Us

Chapter Title: Time

Summary: They both need a little time.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, literally. I now have about 52 bucks in my savings account but if CBS and Bruckheimer really want it they can have it. As long as Butterflied turns out to be as awesome as it's sounding. However, if they do take my cash, they'll have to live with the fact that no one will be getting any Christmas presents this year.

Spoilers: As I plan to ignore pretty much everything that actually goes on during the episodes, I'd say you're pretty much safe here. I'll warn people if that changes.

Ahh, the angst.

And, on with the show:

"I'm pregnant." It sounds so final to both of them.

"I know."

Her head snaps back so that she can look at him again, "You know? How on Earth can you...Catherine."

He nods to confirm her suspicions.

"Why did Catherine tell you?" she says angrily as she pulls away from his lap.

"Don't be mad at her, she was just trying to protect you. It just kind of slipped out."

She stands above him, hands on her hips, towel forgotten and fallen away. He can see the changes now--the weight she's gained, the bigger breasts, the slightly wider hips, but most importantly, the very tiny bump above her pubic hair--and he wonders how he could have missed these things.

But Sara cuts into his reflection, "What do you mean 'she was just trying to protect' me? How? And from what?"

Grissom stands now, on wobbly legs, takes a deep breath, and says, "From me."

"You?"

"Yes, me. I thought you were going to leave me--you've been so different lately, so unhappy. I know better now, but originally I thought that you were getting ready to run out. I wasn't going to let you do that and feel any guilt, so I was going to push you away so that you could start over, without looking back." He took her hands in his and pulled her close again, wrapping the warmth of his body around her.

"You were going to get all Grissomy and pull back in your shell, letting everyone else deal with the problem?"

"I suppose it could be interpreted that way."

"And now?"

"Now what?"

She pulled her hands out of his and took a step backward, "And now, are you still planning on getting all Grissomy? Are you going to step out of the picture or push me, push us, out of your life because it doesn't fit in with what you planned?"

He paused, knowing that there was a right answer hidden somewhere in his heart but was unable to dig up the words. "Now? Now I'm not sure. I don't know. I've never been told, I mean, I've never been a father before. I don't know what I'm going to do, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel, or how I'm supposed to act. I think I need some time to think it out."

Her shoulders dropped again, her head slumped down a bit.

"You need...time?"

"Yes."

"Time?"

"Yes."

Sara reaches down and grabs the towel near her feet. She quickly wraps it around herself and neatly tucks it closed. "Fine. Go take your 'time.' Go think whatever you have to think out, out. Just remember, by the time you figure it all out, by the time you collect your thoughts and your feelings and your actions, it could be too late for you to make any difference."

With that, she turns around and goes into the bathroom again.

Grissom stands for a moment, digesting what had just happened. Then he too turns and leaves the bedroom. Finally there is nothing in there but the wrinkled bed, just a memory of the morning.

Grissom sits in his office at his desk. He's supposed to be working but his mind's as far away from work as it could possibly be. It's with Sara, and he's imagining her with their baby in her arms.

Suddenly, his quiet sanctuary is compromised—the door opens and Dr. Robbins walks in.

"Gil, I've been trying to page you for an hour. Ecklie is down in my office spouting some story about your threesome being his shift's case now? I told him that before I'd let him near the results I'd need to hear from you. Where have you been?" He takes a closer look at the other man, notices the blank stare of his eyes, the pale color of his face, the worry in his eyes, and asks another question, "Are you okay?"

The doctor takes a seat on one of the quite uncomfortable chairs across from Grissom's desk.

"No. I don't think I'll ever be okay again."

"Oh, really? I thought your hearing was getting better. Isn't it?"

Grissom leans forward in his chair, "Sara's pregnant."

The Doc is quiet for a moment, trying to absorb this information, "You had to know that eventually she'd get over you and move on, get a life of her own. You should be happy for her Gil."

"With my child, it's my child, Al." He folds his fingers over each other like he's praying, and maybe he is.

"Then congratulations are in order, never thought I'd live to see the day you became a father." The Doc leans closer, observing the quiet man, "You don't look too happy about it though. Should I put a hold on the streamers and cake?"

Grissom attempts a laugh, but it's futile. He's not ready to make jokes about this yet.

"Al, I'm too old to be a father. I'm 46 years old; I would have no idea what to do with a child."

The Doc sighs and says, "Gil, those are two completely different issues. Do you know how old my youngest is?"

"Hmmm?"

"He's 15. When my wife told me she was pregnant again, I thought that there was no way I would be able to keep up with another child, much less be the father it would need. But then he was born and with one look at him, I knew it would be okay--because already I couldn't imagine my life without him in it. I know you're probably worried Gil, but really, no first-time parent has any real clear idea on what to do with their child once it's born. Even experienced ones have moments of panic the first night they bring the kid home. Fear is a normal part of parenthood, but so is love. All you've got to do is remember the love that created them.  It'll work out."

Grissom is silently looking around, seeing Sara everywhere.   

"Gil, I wouldn't worry about the maybe's or the what if's right now. If I were you, I'd cut out of work early, grab a bouquet of flowers and maybe something sentimental for the kid and go see Sara."

Grissom nodded his head, "Except for the fact that Sara's very upset with me right now, that sounds like an excellent idea."

"Why is she upset?"

"Because she told me she was pregnant and I told her I needed time to think about that. I've been sitting here for the past hour thinking about what I should do."

"Do as I said, go pick up something special for her, and then go home and make sure she knows how special she is to you. Use words like I'm sorry a lot."

Grissom laughs then and stands up, "Thanks, I think I will do that." He reaches for his jacket and begins to shrug into it, "Oh, yeah, and Doc? Ecklie can have the case. With Sara out right now and me pretty much incapacitated myself, it's too big of a case to handle with just a bare bones staff."

The Doc nods and follows Grissom out of the room, closing the door behind him.

"Good luck."

"Thank you."

Grissom opened the door to the house quietly, trying to balance the giant bouquet of flowers in one hand and the stuffed caterpillar in the other. Like earlier, it was silent. This time Grissom was happy to be greeted by the silence. Maybe that meant that Sara was asleep--she could use the rest.

He climbed the stairs, toeing off his shoes at the bottom, flowers and toy still in his hands. The flowers almost blocked his view, so much so that when he entered the bedroom, he didn't see anyone in there.

But then he put the flowers down and saw that there was, in fact, no one in the room. There was nothing but a note upon the bed.

Grissom put down his objects carefully, making sure that nothing spilt onto the carpet or on the caterpillar. Then he went over to the bed to pick up the note.

It was addressed to Grissom, and it was in Sara's handwriting.

He opened it and skimmed it, but nothing registered except the words leaving and San Francisco.

She left him.