Tthe characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

No spoilers; pure fluff, and a futurefic. Written for Cincoflex, who never fails to encourage me. (wink)


She rolled over. The bed was bigger than she was used to, even now, but the presence that made it the right size wasn't there. Peering blearily at the clock, Sara realized that he wasn't supposed to be.

She flopped over onto her back and ran a diagnostic. Nope, no more sleep today. Yawning, she stretched, then pulled herself out of the warm sheets. Her robe was nowhere to be seen--probably in the wash--but there was another one to hand, and she put it on without hesitation, enjoying the scent embedded in the terrycloth. It was too big, of course, but only a little too long, and she rather liked the effect of her hands disappearing into the wide sleeves.

Padding into the bathroom, she splashed water on her face and brushed her teeth, then ran a brush through her hair, reflecting idly on the additional steps people took to accommodate others in their lives. Her eyes were still puffy, but that didn't matter.

He was seated at the big table when she entered the main room, with papers and photos spread all over the wide surface. Grissom had an office in the townhouse, but its desk was small, and sometimes he just liked to lay everything out where he could see it. Sara tightened the belt of the robe and walked up behind him, bending to put her arms around his T-shirt-clad shoulders and kiss his cheek. "How's it going?"

"Slowly," Grissom answered cheerfully, and turned a little to give her a proper kiss. "You weren't asleep very long. Did you have a nightmare?"

Sara let him go and straightened, heading for the kitchen area. "No, not really. Just...weird dreams."

Behind her, Grissom made an interrogative noise, one that told her he wanted to hear more if she cared to tell him. She got down a glass and opened the refrigerator for the orange juice. "Anxiety dreams. You know, where you think you're going to miss a plane or an exam or something like that."

"What were you missing?"

She poured the glass precisely two-thirds full and took a swallow before putting the juice away. "Not missing, exactly." It was strange; she had never hesitated to tell him about her dreams after the first time, the one where his voice had pulled her out of the gluey horror and his arms had held her until the shaking had stopped. But this one--

She heard the chair scrape back, and Grissom came over to where she stood, glass in one hand and the other hooked over the robe's belt. "Do you not want to talk about this?" His eyes were serious.

Sara shook her head, a little frustrated with herself. "I do, but--" She stopped. Explaining would make her feel better, but it would hurt him, and she didn't want to do that. Watching his eyes darken with pain ranked right up there with taking an assault report.

Grissom gently unhooked her empty hand and tugged. "Come on."

She finished the juice in two gulps and left the glass on the counter, and he led her over to the couch, making her sit and taking his place beside her. "It's obviously disturbing to you, Sara. Let me help."

Her throat ached a little at his words. "You're not going to like it."

He tilted his head. "Let me be the judge of that."

"Ugh." Sara pulled up her knees and wrapped her arms around them, focusing on the gleam on her left hand instead of Grissom's face. "I keep dreaming about us getting married." The plans were all in place--she was nothing if not methodical--and it wasn't going to be elaborate, but nonetheless it was on her mind a lot.

"And?" he prompted gently.

She sighed, irritated at her subconscious. "I could deal with the green-and-yellow wedding dress, you know? Or the bridesmaids that I've never seen before in my life--never mind that I'm not having any--or the church with the disappearing roof." Sara ignored his amused noise. "That's just normal. But--"

She halted, and looked up, but his eyes were on her, warm and inquisitive, and she realized she wasn't going to get out of this.

"Sometimes you're not there," she said at last, almost in a whisper, looking back down. "Everything's perfect, and I'm waiting, and you don't come. Sometimes I get a note saying you couldn't do it after all." She shrugged. "It's annoying. I know that's not what's going to happen, but it makes me so sad, and I wake up still feeling sad."

It didn't take a psychologist to know where the fear came from. And now she was afraid to look back up as he let out a long breath, afraid without reason that this would make him suggest that they needed more time. Afraid that it made her seem clingy or pathetic.

Just afraid.

Her peripheral vision saw him open his mouth, then shake his head before reaching out to take her wrists. Sara let him pull her out of her huddle and into his embrace; she tucked her head under his chin, feeling the rare need for protection. His grip around her was warm and strong, and he sighed again--then laughed a little, rueful.

"I have the same dream," he said, his voice vibrating under her ear. "Except it's you who doesn't come, and I'm left there thinking that you realized you'd be happier without me. And I wake up sad." He rubbed his cheek on her hair. "Sometimes I just lie there and watch you for a while, to convince myself it's not real."

The tension was melting out of her spine, and she turned her head to place a kiss on his throat, trying to reassure. "I'll be there, Gil. Believe me."

"And so will I." Grissom lifted her left hand in his, thumb nudging her engagement ring. "When I put this on your finger I couldn't help thinking 'That's it, she's mine now; I'm safe.' Even though I knew it wasn't like that, it was such a relief when you said yes."

There was amusement in his tone, and Sara had to smile too. "In other words, our subconsciouses are paranoids?"

He chuckled. "This surprises you?"

"Nope." She snuggled closer, and let herself relax. There were probably a half-dozen things that needed doing, but she couldn't think of any, and from the way Grissom's arms tightened around her, he couldn't either.

Sleep stole up around her again, and she gave into it.