Disclaimer: I do not own CSI

AN: Million thanks to Rhee for beta reading! you rock!

Summary: ...epilogue ;)


Epilogue

If I would have to pin point the moment in which I fell in love with you then I would have to mention two moments.

Do you remember we were walking through the Golden Gate Park back then in San Francisco? I thought never before in my life I had such a long and good conversation with a, well back then you still were a stranger to me. From the first moment on I knew that there was something special between us. We could not only talk, we could also be silent together. I'm sure you don't even remember it, but in one of these lulls of conversation I ripped off a rose from a hedge and started ripping off its petals. Do you know this little children's game where you rip off petals from a flower or a twig and ask it whether or not someone loves you or loves you not? I know it was a stupid thing to do for a thirty-eight years old man but with you I did not feel that old.

To reach the point to which I was heading with this anecdote, at some point I pierced my finger on a thorn. I cursed and you turned around, worried and with the most beautiful, concerned expression I had ever seen. That expression literally made my heart jump. Actually I had made a promise to myself to not let myself get too close to you, but after our conversation in the café and after the realization that we were so perfectly tuned to the same wavelength, there was really no chance for me to not get too close to you, emotionally and physically. You made me feel something I had never felt before and never felt again until the day that you came to Las Vegas. I think I really fell in love with you right then; this is one of the moments, which I used to recall every day until I could finally hold you in my arms again.

I know now you are probably wondering why I never showed my feelings to you, the answer to that question is actually easy, but I think it's eveneasier to understand when I answer it in the course of my annotations.

I know that I hurt you when I told you that we couldn't be together. My reasons were selfish but please, don't think that I wasn't as hurt as you were. For the first time in my life I had met a woman who fascinated me - on so many levels; a woman who touched me not only physically but also my heart and soul. But I knew that things wouldn't work out between us, not back then. My work and passion for science consumed too many parts of my life and I knew that - even though I really would have tried - I knew I would have hurt you because I wouldn't have been able to give up either of it, work or science.

I went back to Vegas but left my heart in San Francisco. No day passed without me having thought about you. First I thought that I could stand being only friends with you. I thought when we would talk over the phone we could still have those conversations that I loved so much and we would stay in touch so I would at least be a small part of your life even though I couldn't let you become a part of mine. But it did not work, I was falling deeper and deeper in love with you and I knew I would soon reach a point at which I wouldn't be able to not hurt you - or myself for that matter - anymore. Sometimes, when the need to hear your voice became too unbearable, I got weak and called. I know you wished that I would call more often and maybe I should have done so or instead I should have told you that I would never call again. But I couldn't do that either, I did not want to live a life without you.

When I had the chance to see you again I took it. You were the first one I thought of when I needed someone to investigate Holly's death. My mind told me that I was making a fatal mistake but I followed my heart and just did what I needed to do. Looking back I think I should have done that more often.

There were moments in which the need to pull you into my arms was almost unbearable, where it cost me all my strength to keep up the wall that I had built up around myself. I wish I could have been there for you when you needed me. When I saw how stressed out or upset you were about a case then it broke my heart, over and over again; but there was nothing I could do without letting myself get too close to you again.

After the lab explosion I was close to forget about those damned fears that I had, but there was the surgery and other decisions I had to make and all that added up to the reasons that I had to keep this wall up.

When I finally noticed how much I hurt you it was almost too late. I don't know if I could make at least half of all the pain up to you yet, but I promise that one day I will.

In that one night after the DUI, I realized that we couldn't go on like this. Things needed to change. And eventually they did and I am so grateful that you had the patience to wait for me. I do not deserve you and I am very aware of this, I am endlessly thankful for every day that you spend with me and I cherish every moment that we share.

I mentioned earlier that there were two moments I would have to mention while answering the question of when I fell in love with you. The second moment was when you told me about your family history. Never before had someone put so much trust into me, never before someone trusted me as much as you did in that moment. You revealed your most painful memory to me, after all that I had put you through. Despite all the pain that I must have caused in all these years you could still trust me. This made me realize how much I must still mean to you because, even though you had reached your weakest point, you were still strong enough to open up to me. You did not fear to show me how vulnerable you are.

I always feared to be known, opening up to anyone seemed impossible to me. Opening up to you, the only woman that had ever really meant something to me, seemed to be even more impossible. But the trust you put into me on that day showed me that I could also trust in you. In all those years I had feared that you would loose your interest in me or push me away when you would know the real me, but in this one moment I realized that nothing, nothing would ever change the way you feel about me. All my fears were gone, I realized that you still really loved me despite all the pain I had put you through, despite all the things I did, despite of how often I have been an asshole towards you.

I wanted to wait for the right moment; I did not want you to think that what had happened that day was the only reason for my sudden change of mind. I did not want you to think that I only loved you because of what you told me, I did not want you to think that it was just pity.

Then Adam almost killed you and I knew that waiting really wasn't an option, we had lost too much time already! And I will not deny that this was all my fault. But I can also understand your reaction to my sudden confession in that night. In that night I did not think straight anymore, all I could think about was that I almost lost you, you, the love of my life. And when I closed my eyes to calm myself down I saw it all again, happening before my eyes and I could only watch, helpless as I was. God, Sara my heart stopped beating in that moment. I did not think when I drove to your apartment and neither did I think when I knocked on your door, praying that you would open it. And when I saw you standing before me alive but shaken, strong but vulnerable I totally lost all the rational thoughts I had. If I had been in your shoes then I wouldn't have believed me either.

But then, in that night after we had found Nick, I thought being together was what we both needed. I will never forget that night, never. I don't know which night is more important to me, the one we spent together for the first time or that one. When we slept with each other for the first time it was wonderful, yes, even more than that, because for the first time I was in love with the woman I made love to, but in the night that we spent together after Nick's abduction all the tension that had been building up between us was finally released and all the dreams and fantasies I had in the past eleven years had been fulfilled. Both nights are special to me.

You are special. Honey, I think I can say for sure that I will never love someone else as much as I love you. The last year was full of trouble for the both of us, but we managed to get through it together. And for this I love you even more. I know that I am not an easy person to live with, let alone to love and I will probably spend all the time that I am not thinking of you with wondering how you can bring up the patience and strength to survive being with me.

I know that you have critical opinions about marriage and I know that I actually promised you to not push you into another discussion about it again- to my defense this is not a discussion. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. No matter if we do this as husband and wife or just as boyfriend and girlfriend (I could not find a better word to describe it), as long as you are with me through all the good and bad times I do not mind if we're wearing rings on our fingers or not.

But (as you once said, there is always a 'but' when it comes to Gil Grissom) it would be an honor to me if you would accept to become my wife, Sara. Marry me and I promise you that it will work. No marriage in your family could be described as a happy one in your family since seven generations? Well, then this is the start of a new era. I am going to make you happy, I swear.

My love, I know proposing to you in a letter is not the traditional way, but since you are not a fan of traditions (fortunately) I thought I should use it for my own benefit. I know that you will need time alone to think about your answer, so I thought I should take the chance and ask you now when I am going to be out of town for the week anyway. I will not ask you for your answer, tell me when you are ready. Please do not feel as if I am trying to push you into this and don't worry, when your answer is 'no' I will not understand it as the ending of our relationship (only if meant as such which I sincerely hope not).

The ring is in the little box in front of you. Wear it when you decided your answer to be a 'yes'.

And yes, there is a reason why I bought you a wild rose instead of a bunch of red roses. I have to confess that I counted the petals so I already know the answer, but I had to make sure that it would not lie to you.

This week without you will be torture, I am already missing you. I cannot wait to come home and hold you in my arms again. I will keep my cell on so you can always call me when you need to talk.

(In old tradition) from Grissom

With shaking hands she let the letter slip down on the kitchen counter and - even though she knew what she would answer - reached out for the flower. Her fingertips slipped over the silk-like petals and then ripped off one after the other. …He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…. He loves me.

The stem dropped down to the ground as she opened her hand and spread her fingers. Smirking she opened the small black velvety box and slipped the white golden ring over her ring finger. She only hoped that she wouldn't wake up and realize that all this had only been a dream.

She closed her eyes and could feel her heart beating frantically in her chest, this was too good to be true but yes, it definitely was true. She was not dreaming. She would marry Grissom; Dr. Gil Grissom: scientist, CSI, supervisor and future husband.


THE END

And sorry for all the fluff in this epilogue, but I wanted to end my GSR writing time the same way it had begun and carried on, LOTS of fluff. Because for angst there is still real life ;)