Chapter 100

The First


"Hey, Cath, have you seen Sara?" Gil asked. It was less than two hours later, and Gil had been searching for Sara for the better part of ten minutes regarding the case she was working on. It seemed the case she was working solo was related to the case he was working on.

Catherine was seated behind her desk wearing a pair of black rimmed glasses he'd never seen her wear before. She looked professional, and stern, and he almost laughed at the image.

Catherine glanced up from the pile of reports in front of her, "she didn't tell you she was going home?"

"Uh, no…" Gil stepped all the way into the office and up to the desk, "should she have?" he asked.

"She wasn't feeling well," Catherine shrugged, "I figured she'd tell you before she left."

"I wasn't here, I just got back from a crime scene," he made a face, "What's wrong with her? Did she say?"

"Stomachache. Probably a touch of food poisoning from the Deli's mayo on her sandwich," Catherine pondered, "I ate a sandwich from there with mayo on it, I was sick for days. Nick got the same way. I don't know why she insists on eating out of there. She says it's clean, but…I don't know, I think they ignore expiration dates on their products."

Gil sucked in a breath, "right…"

"Didn't you try to reach her by phone?"

"Yeah, got no reply," he answered.

"Maybe the battery is dead…"

"Yeah…" Gil looked away, feel a strange twisting feeling in his stomach. Something wasn't right. Something felt off.

"Something wrong?" Catherine asked, she slipped her glasses off and folded the legs, placing them down on the desk in a rather prim manner.

"I just…I don't get why she wouldn't have sent a message to me or…called me…or something to tell me she was going home…"

Catherine shrugged, "Maybe she didn't want to worry you. It probably isn't that serious. In fact, it probably isn't food poisoning, it was probably cramps."

"She'd have told you if it was cramps, wouldn't she?" Gil asked.

"I don't know. Are you looking for her because of the case?" Catherine tried to maintain a business like manner.

"Yeah…I think our cases are related…" he couldn't explain that strange nagging feeling that kept pulling him. He tried to force it out of his mind, but it was incredibly strong.

"You want to go to her, don't you?" Catherine sighed.

"But I can't. I have two more hours," he looked at Catherine sternly, "I'm not the boss anymore, remember? I can't take off whenever I like."

"Never stopped you before," she reminded him of years before he'd ever been a supervisor. He would frequently take off when the mood suited him – usually it was always case related, but still…

"Cath…"

"Just go…I'll make up some excuse," Catherine sighed, "you did enough of it for me through the years."

"Cath…I…thanks," he forced a smile, and then took off.

oooooooooooooooooo

It was all he could do to maintain some control and not drive like a madman on the run. Nerves were building up in his stomach, and as he parked his car outside his house, he had to brace himself for several moments, fighting a strange nausea.

God, I'm overreacting. She'd probably suffering from cramp and I raced here like a lunatic thinking something is wrong, he thought angrily with himself. He fished his house key from his pocket, his hand was shaking as he tried to slide the key into the lock.

Stop it, stop it, stop it, he told himself sternly. He thrust the key in and twisted, the door swung open. He stepped in, still holding his keys. The door swung closed at his back, and gave a gentle click.

He swallowed as he made his way down the hallway, "Sara?" he asked softly. The hall was filled with a gentle orange glow that was emanating from the living room. The air felt warm around him, beginning to dry the trickle of sweat that had been beading its way down his left temple.

Gil stepped into the living room, and the keys dropped from his hand, he was dully aware of the soft chink they made as they hit the floor. There were candles everywhere, tall candles, short candles, three wicked candles, tiny tea-lights lining the shelves, pillar candles clustered on the kitchen counter, on the coffee table. The whole room was bathed in a warm wonderful glow.

The room seemed unfamiliar to him, and yet more like home than he'd ever experienced before.

His eyes caught the glint of tinted blue champagne glasses on the kitchen counter near the candles, and a bottle of unopened champagne was nearby in a cooler, beads of condensation trickling down the black glass.

What the…

"Surprised?" came Sara's voice at his back, and he realized she'd been standing near the wall behind him.

He turned to look at her. Surprised didn't seem to fit really. Sara was wearing the same black dress she'd worn on their first official date. He let his eyes drink her in, from the burgundy painted lips to the black leather heels she was wearing.

"I…I don't quite…understand," he said, "Catherine said you were ill."

"Yeah…I told her to tell you that," Sara admitted, she smirked and moved over to him, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his lips gently.

Gil drowned in her for a moment, kissing her back softly. The anxiety he'd felt in the car was almost already forgotten. "So Catherine knew…" he breathed when he ended the kiss, he stroked her hair away from her face.

"Yeah," Sara smirked, "I got away an hour ago…it took so much work trying to get all this ready before you got here…"

"I bet…" he looked around, "all these candles, the champagne…" he gestured around the room, "And you wearing that dress…it's all…incredible. But…why?" he asked.

"Well…" Sara paused for a moment, as if to think, "I figured, since…you've never really had a relationship before, that…no one would have really done anything romantic for you before…"

Gil laughed a little, nervous and excitable and the butterflies in his stomach returned for the first time in a while. "That's…true, no one really has…" he admitted, "but you didn't have to go to all this trouble…I mean these candles must have cost a fortune…and the champagne…"

"I felt it was warranted," Sara smiled, "we're celebrating, after all."

"Celebrating…?"

"My moving in," she reminded.

"In fact…" Sara gained an indecisive expression for a moment, "there's more to this than just that…" she admitted finally.

"There is?" he asked.

"I have something I want to ask you."

"Oh?"

"I know it's going to confuse you…" Sara took both his hands, "so…I'm gonna have to ask that…you don't try to make sense of it…at least not yet," she squeezed his hands.

"Okay."

"No…don't say okay, you have to promise me," Sara looked at him seriously.

"I…promise…" he replied, unsure of what he was promising, really.

"Okay," Sara took a deep breath, "here, sit down," she gestured to one of the stools at the kitchen counter.

He did as he was told, the nerves beginning to return.

"I've always loved you," Sara began, "since…god, since the moment I saw you at the seminar back so long ago, seems like a whole life time ago. And I always knew right then I wanted to spend my life with you even though I hardly knew you..." she chewed her lip. "And I always had this…this night…pictured out in my head…ever since then. Don't ask why, but it just felt like this is how things were meant to be. Because you're not the conventional kind of guy…and lets face it, I'm not really the conventional kind of girl," she gave a laugh, and he could see she was nervous.

Her hands, that were holding onto his, were slightly shaking and he held them tighter, trying to steady them. He kept his eyes on hers the whole time, mesmerized by her and her words.

"I've always been the first one to make any kind of advance in this relationship. I was the first to ask you out…I was the first to tell you I love you…" she lowered herself onto one knee, laughing nervously, "And even though it seems…really…really weird, and like I said, so unconventional…I wanted to be the first to say…" she bit her lip for a moment, "will you marry me."

Everything seemed to go incredibly dark for a moment. He was sure he might be dreaming, or hallucinating. And his mind went into overdrive with the question of why now, why when she'd turned him down?

"Sorry…" Gil shook his head, trying to pull himself out of the cloud of thoughts, "Uh…come again?"

Sara looked at him expectantly, she didn't reply.

"Did…you just ask ME to marry YOU?" he asked.

"I know it's supposed to be the other way around," Sara smirked.

"Yeah…kind of…" he said nervously. "Wow…I've…uh…I've never been proposed to before…"

"I have," Sara reminded, "And…uh, sorry, no disrespect but I think I do it better than you."

"Yeah…you do," he nodded, still shaken by the question, so shaken, he hadn't even realized he had not yet given her his answer.

"So?" Sara asked.

"So…?" he took in a deep breath.

"Will you marry me, Gil. Will you make me – God forbid I should say it – Mrs. Gil Grissom…and have kids with me and…god…just be with me the rest of my life…"

"Have kids…?" he asked, remembering her previous reaction to the mention of children earlier that night.

"I stopped taking the pill this morning."

"Don't you think you should…uh…have discussed that with me before you—wait, what am I saying…" he shook his head, feeling incredibly idiotic right at that moment. She had him in a strange daze he couldn't quite pull himself out of. He realized he was being unromantic and unresponsive, but he couldn't quite help it. "Are you…I mean…you're serious…you want to marry me?"

"Would I be asking if I wasn't?" Sara pointed out.

"I…God, Sara, do you even have to ask…?" he stood and pulled her to his feet, "this has been all that's been on my mind for weeks…these last few days have been killing me…" he murmured.

Sara nodded, "me too. I've felt so guilty, because I knew I was going to propose when the right time came…and…well…suddenly I just…felt like it was time."

Gil felt tears building up in his eyes, "god, I feel so stupid…" he wiped them away, "after my hounding you about the proposal…after all I've done, after my questioning how you feel…"

"Only proves you love me, baby."

Gil left her standing in the living room and headed towards the bedroom to retrieve the ring from the drawer he'd been keeping it in. He grabbed the ring box and headed towards the living room. Sara stood looking thoroughly perplexed. With shaking hands he opened the ring box, nearly dropped the ring, but got a good hold of it. He tossed the box away without a care of where it landed.

"So…" Sara watched him, he heard her breath catching in her throat, "what's it going to be? Are you going to marry me?"

Gil took her hand and slipped the diamond ring onto her ring finger, raised her hand to his lips and kissed it, "why ask questions you already know the answers to."


The End


Oh...

My...

GOD.

Yes, I made it to 100 and I did it without having a heartattack in the process, lol.

I'm so incredibly tired and drained but I finally finished it, and it's only taken, what, 3-4 months. I'm sorry to say that (despite popular request by pm, email and review) I won't be doing a sequel, lol. I'll be concentrating on doing other fanfics and i'll be posting them here of course (or if anything else is co-written under Sunrays and Moonbeams). I'll be keeping myself busy :)

A huge thanks to everyone who's ever reviewed so kindly for this story. I wish I could name everyone who reviewed from chapter 1 to chapter 99 but there are so many that it might take me all morning and it's already nearly 6am, lol. There are too many people to thank individually, but you all know who you are and what an inspiration you've all been to me.

Well,I've been up all night working on these last three chapters. I may sleep for days relieved to be done with "Finding Me". On to other things. Love you all.

Ash