Title: The Road More Travelled

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: T

Category: B:tVS, CSI

Summary: Joyce makes a decision. 300 words.

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.

Notes: According to various trivia guides, Joyce Summers was born in 1958 and met Hank at college. Gil Grissom was born in 1956, attended UCLA, and became a coroner in LA County at the age of 22. The more I looked into this, the more plausible it sounded; I couldn't not write it, cliché or no.

Joyce Craig slid carefully out from between the bedsheets, trying not to disturb the other sleeper. Silently, she gathered up her clothes and began to dress, grimacing at the bent clasp on her bra and the tattered condition of her underwear. They were a pair Hank had bought for her, and he was going to be suspicious when they turned up missing.

She had to stop doing this. Gil had been a good friend since he'd tutored her in biology back when she'd been a sophomore and he a senior, and he was even better in bed, but there was no future with him. He was serious and reserved in company, he was fascinated with bugs, his idea of going out for the evening was taking her to ride roller coasters, and he worked with dead bodies every day. Not to mention, he was not interested in settling down and having children.

Maybe that was why she'd never broken it off with Hank, despite her attraction to Gil and her doubts about the engagement. Hank did want kids; he wanted to be the post-card-perfect businessman, with the wife, the picket fence, the 2.5 kids, and the skyrocketing salary. He would be a good provider, she was sure, and he seemed to genuinely love her. Gil, on the other hand...

Well, it was far too late for what-ifs now. She would be showing in a few months, regardless; best to cut off contact now, before his sharp mind picked up one too many clues and jumped to a plausible conclusion. She didn't want him feeling responsible, or guilty, when the other possible father was so eager to tie the knot anyway; she was sure they'd all be much happier this way.

So why did it hurt so much to leave him?