Disclaimer: C.S.I. not my property, I was only dreaming. Sigh.

Title: The Holiday Assignment (6)

Author's note: Nearly done. Honestly, I don't know where all this comes from. Blame the powers that be.

Many and massive thanks for the comments and reviews, I consider myself very fortunate.

P.S. I've been trying to get a copy of the film 'To live and die in L.A.' which as you know featured Billy Petersen, when to my delight it was shown uncut on TV. If you can get to see it, do. I nearly spilt scalding tea in my lap when I saw Mr. P absolutely stark naked and I mean NAKED. This man has no secrets from me anymore. WHEW!

Summary: Sara's on sick leave, Grissom's on holiday.

Rating: R baby, yeah!

The Holiday Assignment (6)

"No, wait a minute."

"Changed your mind?"

"No, I just don't know if I'm ready."

"We don't have to do this now. We can try later."

"No. No, I want to do this; I need to do this. I really do."

"Sara, if you're not comfortable with it then say so. I won't be offended."

Sara sighed.

"I know. It's just that I haven't done this before."

Grissom smiled in sympathy, his lovely blue eyes tender with understanding and just a dash of amusement.

"Well, if it's any help I haven't done this before either."

"Really? Not ever?"

Grissom shook his head solemnly.

"So, I'm... like... the first one?"

"Yes. You never know, I might be good at it."

Sara didn't doubt that for a minute. Since they had come back to his town house from the hospital yesterday she had seen a whole new side to him.

Grissom waited patiently for Sara to work it through in her head.

"Okay."

Sara's voice sounded more certain now, but she looked at Grissom with one last reservation.

"You'll stop if I ask you to?"

"Absolutely."

It would have helped Sara a great deal if Grissom had at least been able to pretend to keep a straight face when he said it.

"Fine. Let's do it."

Her voice was determined. This was the Sara he recognised.

"You'll have to bend over, I can't do it with you standing up."

Sara glared at him.

He raised his eyebrows and tipped his head to one side in a gesture that she had no trouble reading as 'is there a problem?'

"I know that, I was just about to."

Grissom paused one last time to give her chance to change her mind. He didn't want her accusing him later of rushing her into it.

"You sure you're ready?"

"Yeah. Go for it."

Her voice was muffled but firm.

With Sara bent over and unable to see him, Grissom shook his head in amusement as he 'went for it'.

Honestly, all this fuss just to wash her hair without getting her wound wet. He supposed that he should be grateful that she hadn't wanted to try a shower.

^^^^^^

Catherine closed her locker door and picked up her purse. She was bone tired and could hardly summon up the energy to go home. It had been a long night and being down two members of the night shift meant more work for everyone. She looked at her watch and realised that if she didn't haul ass she would miss Lindsey before she left for school.

As she turned to leave Warrick came into the locker room. He seemed surprised to see her.

"I thought that you had gone."

"Yuh, so did I until Eckle paid a call."

Warrick said nothing, but his face gave his opinion away and Catherine couldn't help smiling in agreement. She watched him unbutton his shirt to change into a fresh one. Her mind went off in another direction as she mused that not many men could look sexy in a vest.



"Goes with the territory, 'Ms. Supervisor'."

Catherine pulled a face at Warrick's comment, but didn't reply.

"I think you did a fine job this evening. Eckle should have no beef."

"You would think."

Catherine could handle Eckle, she wasn't worried on her own behalf, but he delighted in making people jump through the hoops and it achieved nothing except grief. He was trying to make something out of Grissom taking leave at the same time that Sara was off sick.

Warrick finished buttoning up his clean shirt and looked over to Catherine. She was lost in thought. He thought that she looked tired. Damn good too, but tired.

"You ready for Christmas?"

Catherine brought her focus back at Warrick's casual inquiry.

"Pretty much. It will be difficult, first one without Eddie around."

"How is Lindsey doing?"

"She's okay. Kids are tougher than you think. It helps that we were already apart, so she's used to not seeing him around all the time."

Catherine looked at her watch again. She had to go.

"Thanks for your help tonight. Appreciate it."

Warrick waved away her thanks.

"Anytime. You know you only have to ask."

"See you tonight."

"Count on it."

Catherine smiled as she walked past Warrick. Somehow she didn't feel quite so tired.

^^^^^^

Grissom cleared away the breakfast things and quickly washed up the few dishes. He took the drying cloth off his shoulder and draped it over the rail. He glanced over to the bathroom door for the third time in ten minutes. What was she doing in there? She never took this long on holiday.

"Sara?"

No answer.

He moved closer to the closed door, not quite anxious yet.

"Sara?!"

"Yeah?"

"You okay? You've been a while."

"You timing me now?"

Grissom pursed his lips. Sometimes he had to walk a fine line not to make Sara defensive. Fortunately on this occasion she sounded amused.

"No. You have a head injury and we have to look out for concussion or sudden blackouts."

"Were you worried?"

Definitely amused now.

"No."

"Liar."

Amused and smug.

"Possibly."

The bathroom door opened and Sara came out, her trademark grin in place. She smiled up at Grissom as she went to him and slid her arms around him. He wrapped his arms around her and took simple pleasure in the fact that he was allowed to.

"Thank you for caring." She sobered, "It'll be difficult for me to get used to the idea of someone worrying about me. Please be patient."

"You've been patient with my kind of madness. We'll learn together."

Grissom searched Sara's eyes as he was speaking and she was left with the feeling that there was more than one level to what he was saying.

"Yes, we will."

She held his gaze and tried to let him know that she was willing to try on every level.

The corner of Grissom's mouth tipped upward and tension he hadn't realised he was showing went out of his expression.

Message received.

^^^^^^

Nick pulled into the hospital grounds for the second time in as many days. He found a bay and parked, turning the engine off.

He had been on his way home after the night shift when he had given in to the sudden impulse to go to the hospital and see if Helena was working today. He hadn't thought this out beforehand; he was tired and could probably do with a shave, though he had showered at work.

He remained sitting in the SUV, undecided. He wouldn't be presenting himself at his best. That lack of confidence might let him down. On the other hand, women didn't like cocky guys. What was the worst she could do? Say no. Say that she didn't want to see him for coffee or anything else.

It was only at that moment that Nick realised that he wanted to ask Helena out. His courage wavered and he reached forward for the key in the ignition. Shoot, he didn't even know if she was free.

Just as he was about to start the engine he looked up and saw two women threading their way through the cars in the row in front of him. One of the women had black hair.

He was out of the SUV before he had time to think about it. The slam of the car door attracted the attention of both women and they looked back at Nick. Helena said something to the other woman who looked at Nick again, grinned at Helena and carried on to work without her.

His long stride quickly caught up with Helena.

She was just as he remembered, black hair and those green eyes.

Unlike girls he had known in the past she didn't give him a huge gushy smile or rush in to speech. She just gave him a pleasant smile and waited.



"Hi."

Nick's brain froze after the one syllable.

"Hello again."

That was positive, at least she remembered him.

While Nick's brain was out to lunch Helena took pity on him.

"How is your cousin?"

Nick managed not to look blank.

"Sara's doing good. Grissom took her home yesterday. She hates hospitals."

"Many people do."

Nick didn't know what to do with his hands. Folding his arms would look stand offish and putting his hands on his hips could be construed as threatening. Finally he put one hand in his pocket.

Helena turned back towards the main entrance, then looked back at Nick as if to say 'you coming?'

"I'm sorry, I won't hold you up any longer, you're goin' to work and I've just finished graveyard..."

They both started to walk, Nick looking at Helena, Helena looking at the hospital.

"...but I was wonderin' if you're free, maybe you would like to go out?"

Helena stopped walking and looked at Nick. He couldn't tell what she was thinking.

"It is kind of you to ask, but I don't think that would be a good idea."

Nick was taken aback but tried to hide it.

"I have to say that I'm disappointed."

Helena smiled at the compliment.

"Sorry. I assume that I'm allowed to say no?"

"Of course, it's your right."

Helena could tell from the tone of Nick's voice that he meant what he said. She smiled again, gently.

"Yes, it is."

Nick didn't know what to say or do. He hadn't been turned down in a long time. Surprisingly, he wasn't upset or cross.

He was intrigued.

"Okay. Maybe I'll see you around?"

Helena looked up at him and wondered if he would bother to try again.

"Maybe you will."

"I'll look forward to it."

Helena walked away and Nick watched her go.

He wondered what time she had a coffee break.

^^^^^^

Grissom wasn't used to having anyone with him in the town house for any length of time. It was proving to be an odd experience having Sara around all the time.

He knew that he had jumped in with both feet when he realised that Sara was going to live. He had been given a second chance and was going to take it, but the practicalities of it hadn't crossed his mind and the oversight worried him.

He had never lived with anyone before.

Waking up beside her this morning had been wonderful.

Watching her wander around the place looking at his things was driving him crazy.

He looked up from where he was sitting on the couch trying to read and watched Sara as she peered at one of his butterfly collections. From where he was he could see the glaring white patch of dressing that covered her bullet wound. He felt a hollow in the pit of his stomach when he thought about how easily he could have lost her forever.

And maybe not just her. He looked at the side view of her body and tried to judge if she looked the same as he remembered her on holiday. Her skirt didn't look too tight; her shirt was nicely fitted. He couldn't see any difference.

They still had not had their 'talk'. He couldn't seem to find the right time to bring it up. He was worried that the 'talk' might upset the equilibrium that they had achieved so far.

He was hoping that they could just continue on the way things were going.

"Spill."

Grissom had been so introspective that Sara's voice came as a surprise.

She had turned her head to look at him to ask him about one of the butterflies when she saw the expression on his face. He was deep in thought and whatever it was, obviously disturbed him.

"Excuse me?"

Sara walked over to him and sat down beside him on the couch. She reached for his hand but he took hers in his. She didn't buy his innocent look.

"What's bugging you?"

"Nothing."

"Too quick Gil."

Sara gave him time to put his thoughts into words. He was a private and solitary man not used to sharing his personal space and she privately wondered if he hadn't realised what he was getting into when he brought her home from the hospital.

"Remember, just this morning you said that we'll learn together. Think of this as part of the lesson."

Grissom smiled ruefully at Sara's reminder.

"When did you get to be so wise, Grasshopper?"

"I learned at the feet of the Master, and stop trying to side-track me. You're getting twitchy because I'm exploring your domain."

"No!"

Grissom protested but Sara just looked at him and waited.

"Okay, yes, a little. I don't mind, but..."

Grissom couldn't explain it adequately. Sara tried for him.

"...but it's like getting in to a hot bath. You know ultimately it will be great, but at first it takes a bit of getting used to."

Grissom smiled, grateful that she did indeed understand.

"Nicely put. I love having you here, I really do. It'll be okay."

Sara mentally added the word 'eventually' to what Gil had said. As soon as she was well enough she would go back to her apartment and give him the space and time that he needed to decide what came next in their relationship. She had waited this long; she could wait a little longer. Besides, other things could be shared before the accommodation was.

"I'm sure it will." She looked at him and smiled, " Do you want to go out for a while?"

Grissom looked back at her suspiciously. She was trying too hard to look innocent.

"Are you feeling up to it?"

"Honey, with you I'm always feeling up to it, but what about going out?"

It took Grissom less than a second to switch tracks mentally and he smirked at her.

"I thought you had a headache?"

Sara dipped her head and looked up at Grissom with a sexy little pout.

"I figured you could kiss it better."

Grissom looked at her and wondered if it was wise to go down this route. His desire for her had been simmering beneath the surface all the time, but he had no intention of placing any physical demands on her until she was fit and well.

Or until she asked him.

His lips twitched.

"Where does it hurt?"

Sara solemnly touched her forehead with the forefinger of her free hand.

Straightfaced and solicitous, Grissom leaned forward and place a gentle kiss on the spot where her finger had rested.

Sara touched her cheek.

Grissom kissed her cheek.

She touched her chin.

His kissed her chin.

Sara tipped her head to one side and touched the side of her neck.

Grissom kissed the side of her neck, under her ear. He flicked his tongue on her earlobe for good measure and felt her hand jerk in his.

When he pulled back for his next direction he saw that Sara's colour had improved quite dramatically and her eyes sparked with mischief.

Still without speaking Sara touched the open space in the V of her shirt lapels.

Grissom hesitated, knowing that this was a point at which they could still stop.

' Sure?' His eyes questioned without words.

' Sure.' Her gaze confirmed as if he had spoken. Her finger tapped again.

Grissom leaned down, placed his lips on the uncovered skin between the lapels of her shirt and tasted her with his tongue. He felt her shudder and heard her sharply indrawn breath.

He leaned back for one last destination before he started picking the locations himself.

Finally Sara touched her parted lips.

She barely had time to move her finger before Grissom's mouth took its place.

He let go of her hand so that he could pull her into his arms even as she put her arms around his shoulders, sliding a hand into his hair.

He kissed her deeply, his tongue invading her mouth even as hers came to meet it, stroking, tasting, and greedily demanding more.

Their kiss was a joyous homecoming. It swept aside the months since their last touch; it both soothed their souls and aroused their bodies.

This was where it all made sense to Grissom. Here with Sara in his arms he didn't care about anything else but her.

Sara's breasts were crushed against his chest; his arms tightened and moulded her against him. She fit against him perfectly. Grissom turned them slightly until he could lay Sara down on the couch, following her down to cover her with his body.

Sara's breasts grew heavy and her nipples tightened with anticipation as the wonderful sensations Gil was creating rushed through her. He hadn't even removed any of her clothing yet but she knew that she was ready for him. She couldn't help moaning with delight, unable to form any words.

She could feel his desire for her and didn't want to wait much longer for his complete possession. It had been too long. She pulled his shirt free from his pants and quickly slid her hand underneath the material to touch his warm flesh.

Grissom felt Sara's hand on his back and the jolt that went through him was electric. Her sense of urgency communicated itself to him through her touch and his hips jerked reflexively against her. He tore his lips from hers and pulled back to look at her, enjoying her flushed arousal and the swollen redness of her parted lips. He slid his hand down to her left thigh and lifted it up to cradle his right hip then ran his hand along the thigh and up under her skirt until his fingers reached her panties. He slid his fingers under the material to pull her against his arousal.

Sara tried to wriggle enough to lift her hips to allow Gil to remove her panties, but her foot hit the arm of the couch and pushed her backwards hard enough to hit her head against the other arm. Her moan of delight became a groan of pain and Grissom froze instantly. He tried to pull away but Sara held on to him.

"Sara..?"

"Don't you dare run away. I'm fine, just moved wrong, I'm okay."

She could have wept with frustration as she read the hesitation in his eyes.

"No, we shouldn't have tried, it's too - "

Sara placed her fingers against Gil's lips to stop him completing the sentence.

"No, it's not too early. If you stop now I will kill you, that's a promise."

Grissom half smiled despite himself. He had been about to say that it was too early, but she didn't need to know that - he didn't want to disappoint her.

"I was going to say that we shouldn't have tried on this couch - it's too small."

"Oh."

She felt silly for a moment until she realised that Gil hadn't said no. Her face lit up.

"Then what are we waiting for? I know where there's a perfectly good bed going to waste."

Grissom sat up and got to his feet. He took Sara's hand and helped her upright.



She grinned and tugged him towards his bedroom.

He didn't even bother with a token show of resistance; he just scooped her up and carried her into his bed.

She flung her arms around his neck and rained kisses all over his face until he couldn't help laughing.

He placed her on his bed and they both stopped laughing.

This was how he had imagined her in his bed. Dishevelled and aroused.

By him.

Grissom reached out to touch Sara's face gently. The whole tone of their encounter seemed to shift from light-heartedness to something more serious and tender.

Sara sensed the change and realised that this would be the first time they would be together after having acknowledged that there was something more than just sex between them. Not that it was ever 'just sex' for her. Mind blowing sex, great sex, yes, but maybe - for Gil - this would be the first time that he would call it 'making love'.

She reached up her hand and held Gil's hand to her face, tipping her head to rest against his palm.

Grissom looked at her face and the longer he studied her the more aroused she became. How could he make her feel so needy and wanton with just a look and a simple touch?

Languorous warmth stole through her body radiating from his hand. Zinging sensation shot through her belly and straight to the core of her. His penetrating blue eyes seemed to see deeper than ever before with a clarity and openness that calmed her even as it aroused her.

Grissom closed the distance between them until their lips met and lightening struck through them both. They pulled back to look at each other briefly then his mouth was on hers - or hers was on his, they weren't sure - but it didn't matter because either way it was wonderful.

Without removing his lips from hers, Grissom slowly lowered Sara back on to the bed, ensuring that there was a pillow behind her to protect her head.

They kissed for long minutes, not in a hurry to move on, just enjoying the sensations flooding through them. Grissom planted a trail of kisses from Sara's face down her neck to her throat and further down to the flesh between her breasts. He slowly undid the buttons on her shirt until it parted, giving him better access. He used his fingers to tease her through her flimsy bra, pebbling her nipples, then took one of the lace-covered nubs into his mouth, suckling the tasty treat. Minutes later he swapped breasts so that the other one wouldn't feel neglected and repeated his explorations.

Sara was surprised at the intensity of sensation in her breasts as Gil tugged gently at her through the wet lace. Each pull connected to the bundle of pleasure between her legs, making it throb. When he pulled the lace back and freed her, the pulsing intensified until it was almost painful and she gasped with pleasure as his lips closed over her naked flesh.

Sara's gasps and sighs guided Grissom in their mutual seduction. A remote part of him was storing away her preferences so that he would remember them for her later. He skilfully removed her skirt so that he could kiss his way across her belly.

He brought his right leg up between Sara's, using his thigh to press against her intimately. As he had on the couch, he pulled her leg over his hip so that he could press even closer.

Sara didn't know how Gil was managing to take it so slow after all these weeks apart. She had enjoyed the prolonged kissing but now she had the same overwhelming urge to take him hard and fast that she had had while on their holiday. As he pressed between her legs she brought her hips up to meet him, moving rhythmically against his arousal. She pulled at shirt, tugging the buttons apart so that she could feel his bare chest against her, flesh to flesh.

It wasn't enough. She ineffectually pulled at his pants belt until Gil himself leaned back and undid it for her with hands that were trembling with his own need.

Sara ran her hands over his erection through the pants material and heard his sharp intake of breath. She grabbed at the material on his hips and pushed carefully downwards, taking both pants and boxers together. Finally she was able to take hold of him after so long.

Grissom felt and saw her hand close around him and it took every ounce of his willpower not to just rip her panties off and thrust himself deeply inside her.

"Sara..."

It was an anguished warning that she was pushing him too far.

'Too far' was fine by her; she wanted him frantic, just the way she was.

"Yes, hurry...please, now!"

Grissom was torn between his desire to go slow and his urge to do as Sara - and his body - demanded.

He leaned over her and slid a hand over her smooth belly down to the lace-covered nest of curls at the juncture of her thighs. She shuddered in delight as his fingers slipped underneath the material and briefly dipped into her moist heat, testing her readiness for him. Her hips surged up to follow his hand, reluctant to let him go, and he pulsed in her hand.

"Ohh..."

Sara whimpered, aching for him.

Grissom could wait no longer. He tugged at her panties with one hand, intending to remove them down her legs, but the flimsy material gave way with a quick ripping sound.

Both of them looked startled for a moment, then they both grinned.

"Animal."

"You inspire me."

However it had happened, Sara was now uncovered and open to him. He wasted no time in capitulating to her earlier demand.

She guided him to her and they both sighed with satisfaction as he sheathed himself in her warmth, burying himself to the hilt in one long slow glide.

For several seconds neither of them moved, just savouring the sensations they were both experiencing.

Grissom carefully lowered himself down on to Sara, taking most of his weight on his left elbow, leaving his right hand to clasp Sara's left, threading his fingers through hers.

Sara welcomed the pressure of Gil over her; she had been too long without him.

"You feel so good."

"Not as good as you do."

Grissom started to move slowly, letting Sara set the pace. Time ceased to have any meaning as the minutes passed on their journey, taking them closer to the end.

Sara's sense of urgency returned in full force and she clutched at his shoulders, then his hips, pulling him down harder, urging him to go faster.

When Sara arched up and moved urgently against him, Grissom was consumed by the most powerful sense of raw primitive need that he had ever experienced. The blood pounded through his veins and he lost himself completely in her. He was hers, always and forever.

Sara was also consumed by their powerful coupling, hurtling along a dazzling trail towards completion. There was only elemental man and woman together, no separate sense of self, she was his and he was hers.

The spiralling sensation climbed higher and ever more brilliant until finally she cried out as it shot through her in stunning waves holding her rigid as Gil moved forcefully within her.

Grissom released his teeth gritting hold over himself and erupted explosively into Sara, surging again and again until he was drained.

They collapsed together, Grissom resting his head beside Sara's neck, both of them breathing hard.

She wrapped her arms around him, exhausted but hugging him with joy. She felt an answering squeeze and smiled hugely. Her happiness was so big that she couldn't contain it.

"I love you."

Grissom suddenly found he had enough energy to lift his head and look in to Sara's eyes.

He had known in his heart all along, even before Florida.

He saw in her eyes the quiet acceptance of how she felt about him without any demand for reciprocation.

She had been brave enough to say it aloud - could he do any less?

"I...love you, too."

His hesitant words made Sara's eyes glisten with unshed tears of happiness as she watched the astonishment flit across Gil's face.

He looked as if it had only just dawned on him how he felt.

"Say it again."

Her obvious happiness was all the encouragement that he needed.

His voice was firmer this time, more assured.

"I love you."

Sara's beautiful grin broke out.

"It gets easier, doesn't it?"

"Yes." Gil searched her face. "I've been stupid, haven't I?"

"No, just not ready."

Grissom acknowledged the truth of her words.

"You've been so patient. I'm sorry that I hurt you, that was never my intention."

Sara looked up at him, finally able to let him see how she felt.

"I know. I'm sorry I made it difficult too."

"Difficult, impossible, passionate and committed. And you still scare me."

Grissom said it with affection, taking away any unintentional sting.

Sara chuckled gently.

"Hey, I scare myself."

^^^^^^

Later Grissom lay awake while Sara dozed in his arms. He guessed that their 'talk' might seem redundant now that he had admitted to Sara - and himself - that he loved her, but they still needed to work out their relationship with regards to work and he still hadn't asked her if she was pregnant.

If he were being totally honest with himself he wasn't certain how he felt about a baby just yet. Part of him was awed and amazed that he and Sara might have created another human being, something that he had never thought that he would have with anyone, let alone with Sara. The realistic scientist in him acknowledged that he and Sara were two complicated people with enough issues between them to keep a shrink happy for years. He was worried that with a baby added to the mix that they might not get themselves sorted. But a baby was a blessing, not to be squandered and his mind swung back again.

He supposed that he could just wait and see but the suspense was killing him.

He decided to wait until Sara was feeling better before he asked her. Maybe between now and then he would have discovered the answer for himself.

^^^^^^

They spent the next five days letting themselves become as emotionally intimate as they were physically.

Sara knew that the holiday in Florida had not been a realistic guide to them living together. That had been a time out of reality. They had both thought it was temporary and had made it work well. The reality of living together was quite different.

They both wanted to be together but both also feared it to some extent.

Sara had been hurt in the past and Grissom had never lived with anyone since he left home. Each was worried that a measure of their independence would be lost, although both of them also knew that the other would never dream of causing that situation. Their emotional maturity had to catch up with their intellectual maturity. They knew it in their heads; they just had to believe it in their hearts.

On the Saturday before the Monday night that they were due back at work they had their first difference of opinion.

They were both seated at the dining table in front of the large windows, having just finished eating lunch.

"Gil, when it's convenient, would you run me back to my place?"

Grissom looked up, a question in his eyes.

"Have you forgotten something? What do you need?"

Sara smiled with regret and he felt a frisson of alarm.

"I need to go home. We're back at work on Monday, I'm better now, I have to go."

Grissom was stunned. He was under the impression that circumstances had changed since they had admitted that they loved each other.

"But why? I thought..."

He trailed off. He hadn't thought. He'd assumed.

Sara shook her head.

"No Gil, I guess it's time we had our talk."

Grissom was silent while he tried to put his thoughts in order. His confusion was visible.

"I want us to be together."

"I know; we are together. But I think that the water is still too hot for you just yet."

Grissom opened his mouth to deny it but found that he couldn't. He had hoped that she wouldn't notice and 'things' would just work themselves out. He felt guilty.

Sara looked at Gil's stony expression and her heart went out to him. She reached across the table and took his hand in hers.

"Honey, don't panic. This is for the best; we will have to keep it from work anyhow, and this'll stop Eckle from knowing for sure about us. We can take it as slow as you need to. I'm only going back to my place, I'm not leaving you."

"But when will I see you?"

"You'll see me at work and I'll be over whenever you call."

"That's not the same as having you here with me."

"It's all there can be at the moment. It's all that you are ready to give."

Grissom ran his free hand through his hair and looked at Sara with both desperation and determination.

"I don't want you to go. I love you."

"I know, and I love you too. I'm doing this because I love you, and it is difficult. My going is not your decision to make. Your decision is knowing when you're ready. There is no hurry, we have plenty of time."

"No we don't, what about - "

Grissom stopped abruptly suddenly aware of what he'd nearly blurted.

Sara looked puzzled, waiting for Gil to finish his sentence.

"What about - what?"

Grissom shook his head.

"Nothing."

Sara looked at him. This was obviously not 'nothing'.

"Gil, don't snow me. What about - what?"

Grissom knew that tone of voice. She wasn't about to give in any time soon.

It wasn't how he had imagined asking her, but it would have to do.

He looked at her, trying to judge her mood.

Whether or not she would kill him.

"Are you pregnant?"

Whatever Sara had been anticipating, this wasn't it. Grissom could tell that she was genuinely surprised when her jaw dropped.



Sara closed her mouth with a snap, then opened it again.

"What?"

"Are you - "

He didn't get chance to finish.

"NO!"

Sara took a breath and tried to calm herself.

"I told you in Florida that I was on the pill. I wouldn't do that to you. Neither of us is ready for a baby."

Grissom thought that he would be relieved but to his surprise his first reaction was one of disappointment.

"Oh."

"Christ Gil, it's been nearly three months since we were in Florida, don't you think that I would know and would have told you by now? What made you even think it?"

Grissom did not want Eckle brought up, so he used the bout of food poisoning as his start.

"The way Catherine told me that you were ill with that stomach bug."

Sara looked exasperated.

"She implied that it was something other than a stomach bug?"

Grissom smiled briefly in agreement.

"Figures. She asked me straight-out after I'd thrown up. Was it 'the guy I met in Florida?'"

Sara looked at Grissom strangely.

"Just how long have you been wondering about this?"

Grissom sighed.

"I had just asked Catherine outright when Nicky came in and told us that you'd been shot. It was the worst moment of my life, bar none."

Sara got up from her chair, went around the table and put her arms around him.

Grissom pulled her on to his lap.

Sara looked him in the eyes.

"I'm sorry."

"I know. It wasn't your fault."

They held each other in silence, taking comfort from each other.

Grissom stirred.

"Are you certain that you're not pregnant?"

Sara nodded.

"Yeah, I've had two...er..."

She stopped suddenly and thought it odd that she felt embarrassed discussing this with him considering how intimately they knew each other now.

Grissom smirked at her expression.

"You can say 'periods' you know. I won't run screaming from the room."

Sara's look was sarcastic.

"Thank you so much. Yes, two of them. Although - "



She broke off, looking uncertain.

Grissom prompted her.



"Although - what?"

"It's probably nothing. I thought that it was because of the pill, but they were a lot lighter than usual."

They looked at each other, both mildly alarmed.

Grissom stood up, putting Sara on her feet.

"I think we'd better go visit the pharmacy."

He looked for his jacket, found it, slipped it on and had picked up the Tahoe's keys before he realised that Sara was still standing where he had left her.

Their eyes met, hers large with stunned comprehension.

"You mean...? But it's not possible! I'm on the pill! I took them all and correctly. I haven't been sick or had a stomach upset or any of the usual reasons that the pill fails and I - "



Grissom crossed the room back to Sara as her speech got faster and higher.

He gently but firmly took hold of her upper arms.

"Sara, shhh. Remember to breathe. Stop panicking. We'll just get a kit and put your mind at rest. It will be okay."

"That's easy for you to say - it won't be you getting sick and fat and...and...everything!"

Grissom didn't make the mistake of laughing or even smiling. He just pulled Sara into his arms and held her. She was shaking.

"Whatever happens it will be okay. We'll be in it together."

Grissom was surprised to realise that he truly believed it himself. Whatever happened, they would work it out.

He lifted his head so that he could look Sara in the face.

"Ready?"

She nodded, white-faced.

^^^^^^

At Sara's request Grissom drove to a pharmacy further away than the one he used regularly. He was known for his migraine prescription at his local one and Sara didn't want anyone who knew Grissom to see him buying the kit.

They went in together and stood looking at all the different kits. It was a new experience for Grissom and he was quite fascinated by the range available. He picked up and put down several kits as he looked for the one he wanted.

Sara just wanted the cheapest and quickest and wanted him to use cash so that it wouldn't show up on a receipt with his name on it.

She picked up one and looked at the price.

"Jeez! Look at the price of these damn things!"

Her fierce scandalised whisper made Grissom look at her with a smirk.

"Antibodies are not cheap to produce, although they are getting better. You should see the invoice for reagents in the Lab."

Grissom picked out the kit he wanted and showed it to Sara.

She scowled.

He bought it.

Twenty minutes later they were both seated back at the dining table.

The pregnancy test box was on the table between them. It was unopened.

Grissom looked from the kit to Sara.

"You know, call me old fashioned, but I'm fairly certain that you have to use the kit rather than just glare at it."

"Fine! You go pee on the stick."

Grissom raised his eyebrows.

"If I thought it would help."

He reached out to have another look at the kit but Sara snatched it up. She quickly opened it and tossed everything but the instructions back on the table.

Grissom looked at the kit contents while Sara muttered through the instructions.

"Okay."

Grissom looked up from the foil wrapped 'stick' at Sara's pronouncement.



Sara looked at the stick. She looked at Grissom.

He handed her the packet.

They both stood up and Sara looked alarmed.

"Where are you going? 'Cause, y'know, I pee solo."

Grissom hid a smile.

"I remember." He pointed at the kitchen bar. "I was going to put some coffee on while we wait."

"Oh...sorry. Nervous, I guess."

Sara twirled a strand of her hair around her finger as she met his eyes and saw only sympathy in them.

"Me too."

She thought that he was hiding it a lot better than she was.

As Sara retreated to the bathroom, Grissom walked over to the percolator to put the coffee on.

It wasn't until he measured out the grounds that he realised his hands were shaking.

A few minutes later Sara reappeared.

Grissom turned at the sound of her footsteps and looked at her ashen face as she seated herself at the table again. She placed her watch on the table.

He brought two mugs of coffee to the table, placing one beside Sara, then he pulled out a chair and sat next to her. He took her ice cold hand in his and was grateful when she squeezed his hand momentarily.

Neither of them drank any coffee as the minute hand swept round on Sara's watch.

She turned to Grissom and her voice sounded loud to both of them.

"Time's up."

.

.

.

.

TBC.