A/N Thanks Bednadette, Sassy and Maryrose for all the hard beta work. This is fluff. It is therapeutic fluff. I need a little brightness in the mist of the dark stories I am writing as of late.
Sara sat looking at the oddly colored image. She was seventeen weeks pregnant. Seventeen weeks. It had not seemed real until now. She was going to be responsible for another human being in less than five months. Hell! She was responsible for the baby now. She ate fairly healthy, and she exercised regularly but had to lighten up on her workload. She was definitely working too much.
Work. Work brought thoughts of Grissom. She should tell him. She would tell him. He deserved to know. Kissing the picture, she slipped it between her seat and the passenger's seat then spoke out loud to her unborn daughter.
"Kiddo, Mommy's going to clean up her act. No more doubles. I am going to drink all my water and eat all my veggies and sleep. I am going to sleep eight hours."
Sara's mind wandered to her own birth certificate, which she had only paid close attention to in the last few years. She had been stunned to see just how underweight she was even though her mother had carried her to term.
"You are going to have boyfriends, and do silly things, and you aren't ever going to worry about how much anything costs or breaking up fights between your parents. And cake. You are going to have cake everyday if you want. You can dye your hair stupid colors like blue or green, because you can just be a kid and you won't have to worry about working. Okay, so we might have to get past your father on the hair thing." Today is pink!
"You are going to be healthy, and you are going to do anything you want. You can take all the lessons and play all the sports you want. Well, maybe not all if your Daddy isn't signed up for the ride, but some. If your Daddy doesn't want to be a part of your life, Mommy's going to have to go to back school, but I'll do it while you are still baby so you won't feel neglected or abandoned. I am not so sure about leaving you with Uncle Nick and Uncle Warrick. Warrick will use you to pick up girls, and Nick will treat you like me, a boy who has to shave his legs. I just need the PhD to make sure we are set. You should see what your daddy charges for one lecture. That will pay for lacrosse and soccer and ballet and anything else you want to do."
Sara was quiet for a minute. "Yeah, I know I have to tell him."
It was all such a terrible cliché. They had worked an awful, long, and tedious case at the Luxor. After twenty-four hours of processing a hotel room, an elevator, and a blackjack table, Sara's phone had rung. Catherine. She told her that Grissom's doctor had said his blood pressure was borderline. Get the Bugman out of there. If Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle hadn't found the evidence by now, it was not there. Sara had nodded stupidly as if Catherine was standing in front of her. She was shot to hell too. How would they get home? Usually one of them was alert enough to drop the other off.
After the evidence was sent back to the lab with one of the uniforms, they had decided that sleep was necessary. They were in a place full of beds. When the front desk clerk had told them there was only one bed, Gil had laughed with the absurdity of the situation. Luckily, it was a two-room suite, compliments of the house for all their hard work.
Of course, they only used one bed. It had happened before; the frantic coupling after a tough case. It was likely to happen again. They didn't ignore it, nor did they over analyze it. Sex was the only drug that made them feel better.
As Sara turned her car into the direction of her apartment, she continued to think of her unborn daughter. She had considered abortion for one solid month until her belly started pressing against the waistband of her pants. She was scared – petrified in fact. She didn't know anything about kids or what they needed. She needed a bigger place. She needed to talk to people who were parents. She needed to take classes and read books. There was so much to do and so very little time before this little baby made its way into the world. Five months and a tiny person would be in her life demanding food and love and safety.
What would Grissom say? Would he be happy? Angry? She didn't know. They were sporadic lovers on a good day and wary friends on a bad one. Still lately, he had seemed to want more. He dropped by her apartment wanting only to talk and not just to bed her. He remembered her birthday and gave her a silver locket with a ladybug etched in it. She had wondered if she should put Grissom's picture in the locket. Now she would put her daughter's in it.
Sara wasn't surprised to find him sitting outside her door.
"Tough shift," she said, pulling out her keys.
"Yeah," Grissom replied.
Sara resisted the urge to pull the sonogram picture from her purse. See! Look at her. Isn't she beautiful? What's that? Of course, she's going to have curly hair. Dark curly hair. She's going to be gorgeous! She's going to have your eyes and my bone structure. Smart. Oh yeah, she's going to be smart too.
Once into the apartment, Grissom peered at her smiling face. "You look happy."
Sara nodded and evaded. "It's been a good day."
Later when she woke up, Sara was startled to find Grissom still there. She had expected him to say something about her body once he finished undressing her. He hadn't. So much for the easy way out. While they slept, her arm had wound round his chest. Feeling sticky from sex, Sara padded into the bathroom and turned on the shower, wishing she had enough courage to wake Grissom and ask him if he wanted to join her.
Once she was done toweling off, Sara took out a tube of peach scented lotion and rubbed it all over her body, concentrating on her belly, hips, thighs, and breasts. After that, she stared at herself dead on in the mirror. Sara Heartflowe Sidle looked good pregnant. She didn't exactly glow, but she did shine a bit. Giggling at her own joke, Sara pulled a silky caftan over her head and opened the door quietly so as not wake Grissom. Her friend Mina had sent the garment to her from Afghanistan. It was perfect for a pregnant woman who needed something comfortable but still wanted to look attractive even if it was only for herself.
He savored the feel of her arm around him. Sara's hands were soft. Much softer than he had expected, and her breath was warm and sweet and a little spicy when she woke up. The first time they had made love, he would not think of it as anything else, happened after Nick's abduction. After that, it happened once every few months then once every few weeks and now nearly every week. After the first time, Grissom had wanted to tell her that he needed more, that lying between her legs was wonderful, but he needed more. He had chickened out when Sara seemed so determined to be cavalier about the two of them.
Her lips touched his back. She kissed Grissom like that when she thought he was asleep. Now he watched her out of slits in his eyes as she sauntered to the shower. He wished she would wake him and ask him to join her. She wouldn't, of course, because then he would see her naked in the light of day and not confused by lust.
He didn't know how long she had known about the baby. Grissom had figured it out weeks before, and he waited for her to tell him. He left long silences in conversations until he thought the baby wasn't his, but that seemed utterly ridiculous. When she had called in sick two weeks before, Grissom was sure it was because Sara had terminated the pregnancy. He told himself not to be angry or hurt. It was her body. Besides, what had he offered her?
After shift, he showed up at her door with painkillers and ice cream. She had refused the painkillers but had eaten the entire pint of ice cream in ten minutes, licking the spoon and asking for more when she was done. Relief flooded through his body, and he had stayed until the next shift, rubbing her feet and waiting for her to tell him.
She felt a little sadness to find the bed empty. The fact that Grissom had stayed seemed to signal that he might be interested in something more. Sara shook off the disappointment and went to find something to eat. She would have to call Grissom before the next shift started and tell him that she needed to take a three-week medical leave immediately. Her blood pressure was borderline. Her doctor made not so subtle hints about a high-risk pregnancy. She wasn't thirty-five yet, but she was close. When Grissom asked why, she would tell him about the baby.
Grissom stood in the doorway, holding a tray of food. He nodded towards the bed.
"Breakfast is served, m'lady."
Sara smiled and returned to her former spot, grinning up at him as settled the tray between them.
"Thanks," she said as she bit into a link of soy sausage.
"No sounds of protest. I must be gaining some ground."
Sara's mouth twitched slightly. She never knew what to say when he made comments like that. Grissom sighed heavily as the phone rang. He needed some quiet time with Sara. The job would have to wait. When he finished with the phone call, he gave Sara an apologetic shrug.
"If it's the last thing I do, I am going to harass Greg into an advanced degree in Entomology."
Sara smiled back, picking at her food now. She didn't want Grissom to go. "You won't have to harass him. He'll be honored. So where are you headed?"
"Park. No body but some insects that might indicate it was the dumping ground of that Ethiopian kid from last week."
Kids. Who could hurt kids? It would be tough on him even though there was no body
"You want to come with me?"
Sara gave him a surprised look. "Won't that be weird? I mean, won't people ask questions?"
"We tell the truth. We were having breakfast. If you aren't with me, I will stay too long and I won't get enough sleep and I will be grumpy and then you'll get snippy because I am grumpy and then Greg will get nervous and go tell Catherine that we aren't behaving ourselves and then she'll get snippy and then Warrick will have to deal with her snippiness which will make Nick cranky who will then take it out on you. I am just trying to stop a vicious cycle."
Three minutes later, Sara was dressed in the only jeans that still fit and her favorite Harvard pullover, eating the croissant, egg and soy sausage sandwich that Grissom had insisted she take with her. After he finished with the small scene samples, he climbed into the driver's seat of Sara's SUV hybrid. Absently, he reached for the forensics journal Sara always kept in the space beside and the gearshift. No telling how long Sara would be. She had been sucked into a Star Trek argument with Greg over the merits of Jean-Luc Picard versus James Kirk. Sara was solidly in the camp of Picard. Grissom smiled as he listened to her voice carry. At least if he lost his hair, Sara would still love him. Love. There was that word again. Did she love him?
Sara got back into the car, her rant winding down. "Greg is nuts. Jean-Luc over Kirk anytime." She turned to see him holding the sonogram up to the window.
"I am assuming that this is my daughter, my four month old daughter according to this," he said evenly.
Sara blinked and gave him a doe-eyed stare. "Grissom, I was going to tell you this morning. I swear I was."
He rolled his eyes and let out a defeated sigh. Two of them. What was he going to do with two of them? He had just begun to figure Sara out.
Sara watched Grissom's profile as he held the picture up to the light. "Say something. What are you thinking?"
"I am thinking that if she's ten percent as adorable as you are then I am sunk."
He was pacing. Pacing and lecturing. Sara watched him walk back and forth, and she felt the oddest need to laugh. If she laughed, that would only extend the lecture, so she just sat there as Grissom chastised her for not telling him – surprised to learn that he already knew. The sonogram picture had been the final straw.
Relief flooded through Sara when Grissom had taken her back to his house and made her eat again. He wasn't deserting her and the baby. She hadn't thought he would, but she couldn't be sure. Gilbert Isaac Grissom had signed up for the long haul. Sara was nearly giddy as he toasted another French pastry and shoveled strawberries and yogurt into a blender.
"Why aren't you talking?" he finally asked.
"Cause you are right, and because I am supposed to remain calm," she said without thinking.
"What…" he was rocking back on his heals now staring at her, worry twisting his mouth.
"I have some blood pressure issues. My doctor says I have to take some time off."
"How long?" he wanted to know.
"At least three weeks."
"So, you aren't keeping things from me as the baby's father; you are keeping things from me as your boss. What? Were you just not going to show up work tonight?"
"Griss, I just found out this morning. I was going to call you but then you were there and then the phone rang."
"So you said." Grissom huffed as he sat down on his bed next to Sara. His intention had been to make her sleep after her second breakfast, but the sight of her dressed in his t-shirt and boxers looking thoroughly knocked up had pissed him off and started his tirade.
"Do you think I am stupid, Sara?"
She shook her head, wondering if either of them was going to get some sleep. Sara had actually hoped for another roll in the hay before she took a nap.
"Of course I don't think you're stupid. I figured you would say something if you knew."
He took in her sagging shoulders and rhythmic breathing. "I'm sorry."
She raised her one eyebrow in surprise.
"You should be sleeping. Did you get enough to eat?"
"No more food, Grissom. It's a baby, not a linebacker." She moved closer to him on the bed, making contact with his thigh. "You should be sleeping too."
He spoke the next words tentatively. "Are you…are you happy about her?"
Sara gave a slow nod. "How long have you known?"
"A couple of weeks. After the Dishmon case. When you changed, you pulled your sweatshirt off and put on a clean one. I saw your stomach and then when I came over, I could see it up close in your breasts."
"I never thought I would have kids," Sara admitted.
Sara didn't know what to say, so she stated the obvious. "She's going to be smart."
"Brilliant," he corrected.
"Not if you don't let me have my nap," she yawned.
Six years Later
"Mommy, you nearly waited too long. It was nearly out time. I was almost here."
Sara looked to the drowsy forms beside her. "I knew you wouldn't come out early. You are you just like your Dad. Hair has to be just right."
Hannah Grissom spoke to her father. "What happened next Daddy?"
Grissom yawned. "Then you came and we lived happily every after."
"That's not what happened next. Tell me the other part."
"That's all I remember. One minute you weren't here, the next you were. It was magic."
Sara snorted. "Labor magic."
"Tell me the next part Daddy."
He nodded. "Well…"